The Effect of Different Packing Materials on the Acceleration of a Packaged Object

The objective of this experiment is to observe the difference in effectiveness of Styrofoam Packing Peanuts and other, environmentally friendlier, packing materials.  Styrofoam packing peanuts, crinkled newspaper, and cornstarch packing peanuts were packed into separate boxes of three sizes and each combination of material and box size was dropped from three different heights.  An accelerometer placed inside the boxes measured the acceleration as if it was a packaged object.  Using an ANOVA test, the performance of the three packing materials, based on net acceleration of the accelerometer, was analyzed.  The results showed that there was little to no variation between the net accelerations of the three packing materials.  Therefore, biodegradable cornstarch packing peanuts can be used in place of Styrofoam packing peanuts with little to no loss in performance.

Research Done By:

Christa Gibara
Cousino High School

Charlotte McCray
Warren Mott High School