Chatham Academy students get creative for ‘Cardboard Challenge’

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Just when we thought iPhones couldn’t get any larger, a group of creative Chatham Academy students created a supersize version of the popular smartphone.

And it’s made entirely out of cardboard and paint.

That was just one of the amazing creations built by students from different age groups as part of the school’s third-annual “Cardboard Challenge.”

Inspired by the viral video called “Caine’s Arcade,” in which a Los Angeles boy builds an arcade out of cardboard boxes from an auto parts store, the students work together in groups for the fun project.

“They’re given a day to think about it, and in the morning, they’re given cardboard, tape, scissors and glue, and they make whatever they can,” said Carolyn Hannaford, Chatham Academy Principal and Associate Director of Royce Learning Center.

“They’ve got to work cooperatively, take each other’s ideas, learn to give and take, and they come up with the most amazing inventions,” she told News 3.

A guitar. Mini towns complete with parking lots and tiny cars. A huge ship. A sound stage with music. Vending machines. 

You name it, and these imaginative children have probably created it.

One group of students came up with a SpongeBob SquarePants soda machine that pops out real cans of Coca-Cola and Sprite with the tug of one of three levers.

“Giorgio wanted to do a vending machine, I wanted to do a SpongeBob, Marquis wanted to build a Ferris wheel and Miles wanted to build the Nintendo switch that lifts all the sodas,” said student Jacob Range about the project his team came up with. 

The students spent Thursday building their projects, and on Friday, they had the chance to show off their hard work in the school’s gymnasium to fellow students as well as parents.

“The creativity is unbelievable,” Hannaford said of the students’ abilities to think entirely outside the cardboard boxes they used to let their imaginations run wild.

“These are kids with learning disabilities, ADHD,” she added.

“The classroom is not always their most favorite place, but this lets you know what they have other than just the academics.”

John Hicks, a student who teamed up with fellow student Aidan Pounder to create a tank, has participated in the challenge for two years, and his parents say he loves it.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it shows there is so much more in there than what they put on paper,” John’s mother, Lacy Hicks, told News 3. 

“It’s ‘put it on cardboard!’”

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