The Newspaper Table Challenge

Newspaper Table


  • GEOFFREY POTTS, Senior, Mechanical Engineering Major
  • JACOB HAEGELE, Engineering Grad Student
  • TRAVIS PAUTLER, Senior, Aviation Science Major


Students were given the following challenge: Design and build a table out of newspaper to support a paper ream. They were not allowed to open or damage the paper ream. The winner was determined based on the height from the base of the table.


The Newspaper Table Challenge teaches the students to effectively collaborate in a team setting, manage products to the final delivery. Students had to use the materials to build their tables, then had to test it by carefully setting something heavy on it. When they tested, often their designs did not work as planned. This teaches them that if things don’t work out, it’s an opportunity - not a mistake! When engineers solve a problem, they try different ideas, learn from mistakes, and try again. Study the problems and then redesign.


Back to the 2011 - 2012 Weekly Innovation Challenges