In 2000, Mainland High School detailed the "Pringles Packing" contest as part of its Physics Olympics exercises. The exercise challenges elementary and middle school students to mail a single Pringle potato chip without breaking it. To meet this challenge, students needed to combine math, engineering and craft skills with practical sense. As other educators offered this challenge over the years, creative students have shown that a lone potato chip needs to be protected in a container before it's inserted in a mailing envelope.
Make the Container
Measure 1.5 inches from the bottom of the Pringles can and draw a line around the outside of the potato chip canister.
Cut along the line to create a short can.
Place the can on the cotton padding and trace an outline of the can. Repeat to create a second outline and cut out both circles.
Measure around the can and then outline and cut a one-inch-wide strip of cotton padding the length of the can's measurement.
Place one cotton circle inside the can to create a soft lining. Line the wall of the can with the cotton strip.
Shred cotton balls and place in the can.
Gently place one Pringles potato chip on the cotton and cover the chip with shredded cotton balls to completely cushion the chip.
Place the lid on the can to cover the opening and secure it to the can with duct tape.
Prepare Mailing Envelope
Write the recipient's address and your return address on the front of the envelope.
Print "FRAGILE* on the front and back of the envelope and draw a box around the phrase to highlight it on the envelope. Print "HAND STAMP ONLY" on the bottom left corner of the envelope.
Wrap the can in the cotton padding and secure with one strip of duct tape. Make sure to handle the can gently.
Insert the wrapped can in the envelope and then seal the envelope.
Affix the correct amount of postage stamps to the envelope before mailing, or take the package to the post office for proper mailing.
Things You Will Need
- Pringle container with lid
- Ruler or tape measure
- Thin cotton padding
- Cotton balls
- Duct tape
- Pringle potato chip
- 6 in. x 9 in. mailing envelope
- Optional: Postage
- Place the Pringle chip on a flat surface and measure the height of the chip. Add 0.5 inches to the total measurement, round up to the nearest quarter-inch and cut the can for a snug fit.
- chip image by andreas from Fotolia.com