With paper snowboards, SU and ESF students place seventh in Energy Challenge 2004
With paper snowboards, SU and ESF students place seventh in Energy Challenge 2004April 06, 2004Amy Schmitzaemehrin@syr.edu
Thirteen students from Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry have placed seventh in Energy Challenge’s 2004 All-Paper Snowboard Competition. They competed against 13 other college teams on April 3. Adam Quinn, a fourth-year industrial and interaction design student in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), raced the paper snowboard for the SU/ESF team at the Winter Park Resort in Colorado and finished in 19.21 seconds. First place went to Miami University, which finished in 18.44 seconds.
The SU and ESF students began the project in Spring 2003, when they started gathering resources, raising money and laying out their concept.
“The initial snowboard we designed and built was too fast,” says Quinn. “It went far faster than other boards, and then it broke.”
From there, the students designed eight more boards, changing the design with each iteration so that the elements that worked were maintained while the problem areas were solved. The students used donated materials for many of the snowboards; the final design was produced from materials made by ESF students.
“Pairing up with ESF was crucial,” Quinn continues. “If we hadn’t, we as design students might have started with just plain old notebook paper. You can’t snowboard on that.”
“SU’s design students made the snowboard more innovative,” says Justin Pallack, a fourth-year construction management student at ESF. “There were times that their designs were so innovative, we had to say we simply couldn’t do it. And then we started all over again.”
The contest rules required students to create paper snowboards that included the curve, pressure points and footholds of regular snowboards. SU and ESF’s final design included a “floating element” – that is, nothing was glued on, so nothing could pop off.
“Our design is totally different from a regular snowboard,” says SU student Megan Morris. “We did not want to duplicate or be influenced by boards sold in stores. We just started on our own and solved the problems as we went along.”
Five of the students are from SU’s School of Art and Design in VPA; eight students are from ESF’s paper science and engineering department. Energy Challenge 2004 was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Never Summer Snowboards. The competition was aligned with the DOE’s Agenda 2020, which seeks to achieve the pulp and paper industry’s vision of more energy efficient manufacturing processes in the year 2020.