1. Why is this project about paper cartons?

Over 70% of each milk or juice carton is made from trees, a renewable resource, and cartons are recyclable for over 50% of households in the US. In addition to recycling, milk and juice cartons can be repurposed. In this contest, we’re encouraging kids to use their imaginations to repurpose their milk and juice cartons into a creation that fosters environmental stewardship and helps to nurture life skills.

2. How much does it cost to participate in the contest?

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

3. 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.

4. How many people should be on a team?

Team sizes have no requirement or limit. We have seen successful teams with both 5 students and 500 students.

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 milk cartons used. However, creations will compete in the “under 300” category of the contest if the creation is made up of 299 or fewer cartons. If the creation is made up of 300 or more cartons, the creation will compete in the “over 300” category.

7. Can we use other materials?

Your creation should primarily consist of paper cartons. 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 PreK-5) and 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 for the entry form?

To submit an entry, you will need the following:

  • team name
  • sponsor name (18 years or older)
  • number of students participating
  • registering email address
  • contact phone number
  • school’s name
  • school address
  • grade level
  • count of the number of cartons used: school milk, school juice, and cartons from the grocery store
  • description of other supporting materials used
  • essay about what makes your creation unique (200 words or fewer)
  • as many as four photos of the entry (no student images included)

12. 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.

13. 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 website within two business days. If it is not approved, the sponsor will be contacted by a contest official.

14. What are the prizes for this contest

There is a Grand Prize of $5,000, six $1,000 Elementary prizes (three for “under 300 cartons” and three for “over 300 cartons”), six $1,000 Middle/High School prizes (three for “under 300 cartons” and three for “over 300 cartons”), and one People’s Choice Award.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. How many times can a person vote online?

One vote per person is allowed.

18. How do we make our entry stand out to the judges?

The following criteria will be used when judging the carton creations:

  • Compliance / Rules: theme appropriate, supporting materials are a small percentage of the creation and are natural, renewable
  • Creativity / Originality: unique, distinguishing itself from the other entries yet clearly made of intact cartons
  • Decorations: plentiful and are supportive of the concept of the creation
  • Level of Detail
  • Green Initiative: Your emphasis on sustainability throughout your project

19. 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. Also, photos can be a max size of 8MB each.

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

We request photos without students to protect each student’s privacy. 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.

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

In the essay (200 or fewer words) the sponsor describes what makes your entry unique. Consider what inspired your students, what sustainability lessons were taught throughout the project, etc.

22. 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 via the e-mail address or phone number that was provided. Winners will be featured on the Made By Milk website after they are contacted.

23. 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.