1. How much does it cost?

There are no registration fees for the carton construction contest. It’s free! This will cost your school nothing except the materials.

2. When is the project due?

You must submit your entry on or before the due date outlined in the important dates page. Be sure to read all of the dates associated with this semester’s contest.

3. How many people should be on a team?

We’ve seen successful entries in the life of the program that have had as few as 4 students on their team and as many as 400 students on their team.  Team sizes have no requirement or limit.

4. How much time does this take?

The carton construction contest is open to many levels of interpretation and time investment. However, as a general guideline, we have found that a group of six to eight children over the course of eight to ten hours can produce highly successful creations.

5. Where do I start?

Below are some helpful hints and tips you could use to start off on the right foot:

  • Assign a classroom, teacher, or student team to be in charge of carton collection and gather the cartons for any team that wants to participate.
  • Have your students draw up sketches of their creation ideas and then vote as a group on which one to make.
  • For large groups you could assign small teams to complete a specific task. These could be organized using different steps in the process such as: carton gathering, invention, design, decoration, construction, and essay writing.

6. How many milk cartons do we have to use?

There is no requirement for the number of cartons used.  However, please note that the number of cartons you use will determine if you compete in the “under 300 cartons” category or the “over 300 cartons” category.

7. Can we use other materials?

Supporting materials may be used, but should only comprise a small percentage of the final creation. Supporting materials made of natural, renewable resources (wood, newspaper, cardboard, etc.) are strongly encouraged

8. Can we paint our entry?

Although it is not required, coloring and decorating your creation can be an important part of making it truly stand out. We’ve discovered that spray-paint as well as acrylic paint works well when coloring carton creations. If paint is not available, try covering the cartons with colored paper or permanent markers.

9. What kind of adhesives can be used?

There are many different possible methods that can be used when sticking cartons together and we encourage you and your students to get as creative as possible! Below are some ideas we have generated as interesting ways to connect your creation besides using glue:

  • Toothpicks (spearing the cartons with both sides of a toothpick to hold them together)
  • Punching or cutting holes in cartons and tying together with string, twine or yarn.
  • Taping together using packing tape, pvc tape, even duct tape.

10. How do I enter my school’s project in the Made By Milk contest?

Schools participating in the Made By Milk Contest must have an adult sponsor (at least 18 years of age) to submit the entry for the school for that school level — elementary (grades k-5), middle/high school (grades 6-12).

Entries must be submitted according to the timeline provided on the important dates page.

11. What do I need to enter?

To submit an entry, you will need

  • team name
  • creation name
  • sponsor name (18 years or older)
  • number of students participating
  • registering email address
  • contact phone number
  • school’s name
  • school address
  • school level
  • number of cartons used
  • approximate dimensions of carton creation
  • description of other materials used
  • the name of the dairy that provides your school milk
  • essay about how the school would use $5,000 award money (200 words or fewer)
  • as many as four photos of the entry (no student images included)

12. Why promote building a carton creation out of milk cartons?

Milk can help to form healthy bones and teeth, especially in growing students. So, making milk part of the school day (unless a child is lactose intolerant) is good for kids. Milk cartons are also an excellent hands-on way to teach students about responsible forestry, recycling and repurposing. Over 70% of the milk carton is made from trees, a renewable resource, and cartons are recyclable for tens of millions of households in the US. In addition to recycling, milk cartons can be repurposed. In this contest, we’re encouraging kids to use their imaginations to repurpose their milk cartons into a creation which supports the current semester’s theme.

13. Why the theme?

Made By Milk strives to provide educators with an opportunity to teach students about recycling and repurposing materials, and how those concepts can have an impact on the lives of people and other creatures. In addition, each semester’s theme is carefully selected based on it’s ability to facilitate teachable moments as well as provide curriculum oriented opportunities for learning.

14. What are the contest rules?

Rules are listed on the rules page of the web site and should be reviewed carefully before planning and submitting your entry.

15. How do I know my entry is accepted?

Once your entry is uploaded it goes through an approval process. Once it is approved it will be posted on the the web site. If it is not approved, the sponsor will be contacted by a contest official.

16. What is the People’s Choice Award?

The People’s Choice Award is an award that goes to the entry that receives the most online votes. The award is $2500 for the school with the winning entry. Voting for the People’s Choice Award will be open during the voting period outlined in the important dates page. Online voters must be 13 years or older.

17. If you have to be 13 years old to vote online, how can my students who are younger than 13 vote?

Students who are younger than 13 years of age cannot vote online for the People’s Choice Award. They may ask a relative or older friend to vote for them.

18. How many times can a person vote online?

One vote per person is allowed.

19. What are the other awards?

There is a Grand Prize of $5,000 for the entry that receives the highest score from a panel of judges. The entry that wins the Grand Prize can be from any school level. In addition to the Grand Prize, there are twelve $1,000 prizes.  See the Contest Details page for further prizing information.

20. How do we make our entry eligible for extra credit points with the judges?

There are a few ways that you can score extra points in judging:

  • Creation is highly original or unusual
  • Best decorated carton construction
  • Entry clearly made of intact cartons
  • Use of supporting materials that are made of natural resources
  •  Prizing is used for a green initiative in your school or the community

21. How many images can I upload?

You may upload as many as four images as part of your entry. No images should include students in the photos. There is a 10MB max size limit on photo files.

22. Why can’t students be in the photos?

We request photos without students to protect each student’s privacy. If students were featured in photos, we would have to require parental permission. You are welcome to take photos of the students with the carton creation, but do not upload them as part of your entry. Entries with photos of students will not be approved and therefore cannot take part in the online voting or judging by the panel.

23. What is the essay with 200 or fewer words about?

In the essay (200 or fewer words) the sponsor describes how the school would use the $5,000 if it was awarded the Grand Prize. Schools that plan to use the money for a green initiative in their school or community will receive extra points in judging.

24. How will I know if my school’s project wins?

The registered sponsor for each winning school will be contacted on the day outlined in the important dates page. Winners will be featured on the site after they are contacted.

25. What if something unexpected happens and the Contest can’t run as planned?

If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

Computer “hacking” is a crime. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Contests, so please play fairly.