Fighting with cardboard weapons: All you need is an imagination and a pile of cardboard!

Thomas Edison once said, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” That is what the Boxwar fans seem to have in abundance.

“Boxwars? What are Boxwars?” The average person on the street is likely to ask and wonder if you have lost all of your marbles playing one too many games. Maybe you have just spent way too much time fighting with cardboard weapons.

Boxwars refers to an adult game of dressing up in battle gear created out of cardboard and packing tape and doing fierce battle with all manner of weaponry and armour constructed out of cardboard as well. There are apparently no rules, but plenty of imagination and chaos.

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The first Boxwars were said to be conducted in Melbourne, Australia in a backyard by five creative and cardboard-loving young men who soon became obsessed with the game - and apparently, cardboard boxes. Perhaps they were environmentalists looking for a new way to recycle. In the UK, Boxcar aficionados use the tag line 'fight or be recycled' and gather at a cafe in Edinburgh to fight with their incredible array of cardboard weapons.

Either way, the game has caught on and spread around the globe and it does seem to have potential as an outlet for creative expression, recycling, aggression, exercise and even science for young people. Science? Yes, apparently scientific principles are used in both the creation of cardboard armour and weapons and in the conducting of battle. Teachers have created lesson plans modeled on a popular show on the Discovery Channel, "Junkyard Wars," and some have modified them to using only cardboard and tape as construction materials.
Using only cardboard weapons in fighting does soften the blows and levels the playing field of battle as well.

In the United States, in the State of Illinois, some specific goals and objectives that are used in the creation of lesson plans around Boxcar wars are these:
STATE GOAL 11: Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.
Standard B. - Know and apply the concepts, principles, and processes of technological design.

STATE GOAL 13: Understand the relationships among science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.
Standard B. Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology and society.

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These learning standards are augmented by the United States National Science Education Standards related to the technological design:

Identify appropriate problems for technological design; Design a solution or product; Implement a proposed design;

Evaluate completed technological designs or products; Communicate the process of technological design.

This is a great way for kids to have fun learning design. They also get to release energy, build muscle, have cardiovascular exercise in the open air, recycle lots of cardboard, use their minds and bodies in creative ways, develop social skills, work together as team, work toward achieving a goal, and learn about the science of warfare- then go home and tell their parents they love science.

Designed and copyrighted by Jason in the hope that Boxwars will really, like REALLY catch on.