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Global Cardboard Challenge

Young Chicago Computer Artists + Engineers and The Imagination Foundation

Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (CDT)

Global Cardboard Challenge

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Build with us! This event is free! Ended Free  

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Event Details

The Global Cardboard Challenge is a celebration of children's creativity and the role communities can take fostering it. Our day of building will feature piles of cardboard, dozens of adult coaches (from professional art and science careers during the week) and opportunities to integrate further technology with electrical components, robotics or sculpting.

Youth need to print out the permission slip and bring it with them!

(You just click on it to get it. If for some reason, you can't print it, just send us an email at chicardboard@gmail.com and we'll send the file back to you. Parents or guardians can also sign the permission slip at the event.)

Participating youth will come from all over Chicago- both the suburbs and the neighborhoods and we'll all work together, in the spirit of building.

Our inspiration is a pretty great story and The Imagination Foundation can tell you all about it at  www.cardboardchallenge.comAbout two year ago, a young man sat in his father’s auto parts store in East Los Angeles, along a cracked laminate counter and among shelves of car parts. Caine, like many other nine year old boys, loved arcades with whizzing and whooping games: the store, however, seemed to offer little of that...

Cain began to eye the cardboard boxes – hundreds of them towering over him – in which his father shipped and received parts. Cain thought of a tiny, throw-away, plastic basketball hoop he’d won but couldn’t really do anything with; he could use the hoop, he figured, if it was mounted in a court.

So, he got to work.

That game led to others and soon this nine year old had an entire arcade made out of cardboard boxes in the front of his father’s auto parts store.

Times were tough, however, and most of his father’s business had shifted to ebay. Cain diligently swept up and maintained his cardboard arcade but he rarely had any customers.

When local filmmaker Nirvan Mullick needed a new door handle for his 96’ Corolla, he encountered the “elaborate cardboard arcade.” Nirvan played a few games in the arcade, but knew he had to do more; so, Nirvan organized dozens of customers to come to Cain’s Arcade – more than the young man had ever seen in the years he’d been operating the games – and, he made a movie about it.

That movie -- Caine's Arcade -- is at http://cardboardchallenge.com/about/, the Imagination Foundation's website or on YouTube!




This is just for kids, right? Any age limit?

All are welcome! While 8 to 12 year olds will probably enjoy this the most, everyone can join us from age two to ninety two (and anyone over ninety two as well)! Parents are encouraged to accompany kids but not every kid will have a parent there. 

So, do I need a ticket? Eventbrite says this is free...

It is free! Everyone must register, however, and all youth need to bring a print out of the permission slip to us. (If you can't print it, email us and we'll get a paper copy to you.) This event is supported entirely by donations, so we encourage you to click on the donation button on the bottom of this page and help us out! 

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

The Civic Lab is in downtown Chicago, right behind Harpo Studios in the West Loop at 114 North Aberdeen. It's in the Fulton Market area and is a block from Publican restaurant. It's less than two blocks from the Morgan stop on the Green and the Pink Lines (only two stops from the center of the loop). It's pretty easy to drive there too. The Civic Lab is only a block from Randolph street: right off the Kennedy Expressway at exit 51. There's a fair amount of space to park around there and it should be pretty easy on a Saturday.

Groups traveling from the North, West or South sides of Chicago can contact YCCAE to receive CTA passes for their group. Supplies are limited. A young person from one of these areas is also welcome to ride with one of these groups. Write chicardboard@gmail.com with those requests.


We want to do this, but, we've got something that day during part of the event. Can we come for part of it?

Yes! It's really an open house, but introductions to the story and the coaches will be around one in the afternoon, workshops on integrating more technology (either robotics or sculpting) will be around three in the afternoon and a parade to show the projects will be around three thirty.


Are there any requirements as far as what my kid (or I or anyone) is supposed to build?

Nope- the sky's the limit! Our coaches will help with ideas for those that don't have them, but, we can't wait to see what the kids come up with!

What can/can't I bring to the event?

We'll provide cardboard and tape; the most important things for participants to bring are their creativity and ideas, though participants may also want to bring sketches or art supplies that are the size an airline carry-on or smaller. Of course, all the others things that would be wrong to bring to a public place are wrong here too.


Is the space accessible to anyone? 

Yep! The Civic Lab is on the first floor of an old Chicago Fire Station. Anyone -- of any ability -- can get into the space and we will make attempts to have coaches that speak at least a few common languages (at least English and Spanish). (The bathroom however is in the back of the old building and is not ADA compliant.)


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please write me, Jeff Sweeton, at chicardboard@gmail.com!

When & Where

The Civic Lab
114 N Aberdeen St
Chicago, IL 60607

Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (CDT)

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Young Chicago Computer Artists + Engineers and The Imagination Foundation

Young Chicago Computer Artists + Engineers (YCCAE) brings together youth workers, artists and engineers from across Chicago to mentor youth in consequential explorations of science, technology, engineering and art. The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to find and foster creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers. The Imagination Foundation envisions a world in which creativity is a core social value and critical skills are nurtured and developed in every child. 

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Global Cardboard Challenge
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