Materials List: Take a Seat!
Minimizing Pressure and Optimizing Comfort in School Chairs

For teacher demonstrations (optional):

  • touch-screen phone or tablet
  • thin winter gloves
  • 2 balloons, one small and one large
  • wax paper and foil capacitance sensor

To make a capacitance sensor, each group needs: 

  • 3 pieces of wax paper, each cut into a roughly 29 cm x 21.5 cm (11.5 in x 8.5 in) rectangle (Link)
  • piece of foil cut into a roughly 25 cm x 18 cm (10 in x 7 in) rectangle
  • 2 pieces of foil cut into a rectangle with a tail, roughly 25 cm x 18 cm (10 in x 7 in) with a tail that sticks out about 4 cm (1.5 in) from the rectangle (Link)
  • 2 pairs of scissors
  • clear tape
  • clear sheet protector (Link)
  • 2 paper clips
  • 2 rulers
  • marker 

To test a capacitance sensor (teacher can choose to have 1 set up for sensor testing or multiple), you will need: 

  • set of red and black alligator clips to banana plugs that have 1 meter wires (Link)
  • capacitance tester OR digital multimeter that can measure capacitance in nanofarads (nF) (Link)

To make a seat cushion, groups can share: 

  • scissors
  • gallon large Ziploc bags
  • Any squishy materials that you can find including:
    • foam
    • packing peanuts
    • cotton balls
    • fabric
    • cardboard
    • packing materials like bubble mailers

A photograph shows a clear sheet protector, a box of tin foil, a box of wax paper, scissors, clear tape, paper clips, black and red alligator clips, and a capacitance meter laying on a table.
Materials needed to construct the capacitance seat sensor.
Copyright © 2022 Ashley LaPane, UConn Joule Fellows Program