The Rubbish Deconstruction League

First taste of junk

Logistics, Corporate events  Logistics, School events  Cost, Corporate events  Cost, Schools and non-profit  Contact information

Space and equipment requirements - Corporate events

Lecture only:  Any number of participants.  Requires video projection equipment sufficient for the space, with provisions for playing a standard VHS cassette, and a CD-ROM Power Point presentation. For audiences over 30, a public address system with wireless microphone (boom or clip-on preferred). Time: Approximately 2 hours (including 1/2 hour question period).

Building sessions

Single challenge: For 9 to 60 participants.  They will be divided into teams of 6 or fewer.  A space of at least 750 square feet for 9 participants, 2,500 or more for 60 participants. Bare floor (tile or concrete) and tall (15') ceilings strongly preferred.

Using an outdoor space is possible, with the right space, even desirable. (We can do "messier" challenges, projectile challenges, possibly employ a water feature in the challenge.)  The outdoor space could be used just for the competition phase, or if a  hard surface for the construction zone was available, the build could take place outdoors as well.  Provisions for inclement weather must be made.  (Power tools and rain don't mix.)

Double challenge: (50 to 120 participants), 2,500 sq. ft minimum.  Bleacher style seating for half of the participants.  Other requirements identical to Single Challenge.

The space must have:

Other requirements:
I will need access to the space at least 2 hours prior to the start of the event.

For building events, I require you to supply an assistant, with local knowledge of the host area, for the duration of my stay.  The assistant must have a cargo van or pickup truck, be capable of lifting 40lbs, and be equipped with a cellular phone.

Post building events, a 3 person packing and cleanup crew will be needed.  (If you plan to schedule the room for other uses, note that it will take at least two hours to clear the space after the event.)

For events greater than 250 miles from Boston, the tools and supplies will be sent and returned by common carrier freight, at your expense.

Participants are to be reminded that they will need to bring a set of grubby clothes to the event. (They will be getting dirty if they do it right.)

If this is a trade show event, I suggest very large (video wall) screens to supplement the seating, with a live feed from one or more video cameras, and the services of an announcer.

Trade show events will require additional staff to manage traffic flow, and hand out prizes for the participants.

Suggested enhancements:
I strongly recommend that an event specific T-shirt be issued (NERDS logo graphic available).  For high-level groups, consider imprinted coveralls (the cloth kind, like your car mechanic wears, not the disposable Tyvek sort).

I will provide generic (loaner) safety goggles for all participants.  Better would be a company logo imprinted pair that they can keep as a reminder.

I will provide a single trophy per build session.  It will be made from scrap materials, like the ones awarded on the TV show.  Engraving the scrap trophy, traditional trophies or award certificates, and trophies for additional categories are suggested.  Some sort of pocket tool (leatherman) as a prize for members of the winning team should be considered.

Photos and  video tape recording of the event is recommended.  Should be a pleasant change of pace for a local wedding photographer.  (Allow 1/2 hour for training.)

An instant camera system (polaroid or digital) to get pictures of the winners for autographing is also a good idea, essentially required for trade show events.

Invitations to the event should be sent in packaging decorated or sealed with duct tape.

Trade show events:  For 4-6 build stations, the build area will need to be 200-350 sq. feet, with another 80 sq. feet of securable space for "services" (disassembly of completed machines for parts reuse, storage of tools and props when the booth is closed).  Trade show "entertainment" challenges are short, and can be designed to be built tool-free.   The size of the test course will vary, depending on the challenge chosen.  If space is tight, it may be designed as a second level on the booth. To keep things moving, the course and the build space must be separate.  Any changes to the booth are to be made by the booth contractor.
Costs - Corporate events
The basic speaking fee is $4,000/day, $2,500 half day (lecture only events, or the lecture portion of a double build).  For sites outside eastern Mass, travel to and from the event will be charged at $750 per half day of travel, plus expenses.  Accomidations comparable to the attendee's are required.  Consumable supplies (junk, fasteners, drill bits) and tool rental are $1,500 for a single challenge,  $2,250 for two, and $500 for each additional build.

With a single challenge, the day starts with a lecture/video session. This lecture can be held the night before, at no additional charge. For a double challenge event, the lecture/video must take place the day (or evening) prior to the build, and will be billed at the half day rate.

For sites less than 250 miles from Boston, MA, supplies will travel by rental truck, likely with me at the wheel.  For sites beyond that distance, the supplies will be shipped by common carrier (land or air at your choice and expense), and I will travel by air.  For flights longer than 6 hours, I may request a business class ticket.

If the schedule permits (does not add an additional day away from Boston), I will be happy to include an enrichment talk at a nearby middle or high school of the company's choice, at no cost to the company or school.  (Ex: I have a choice of a 10 AM or a 3PM flight home.  I spend the morning at the local high school, take the afternoon flight, and I still only bill you for one half day of travel.)


Trade show events

Speaking fee $7,500 day.  Travel $750/half day. Challenge design, pre-show setup $2,500 day. Trade show events will get a bespoke challenge.  Unlike the team-building event's heap of real junk, a trade show challenge will use "clean" (new) materials, possibly including some specifically prefabricated components, and inclusion of a challenge course into the booth's design. Cost of consumables to be determined.

Space and Equipment Requirements for
School Events and Not for Profit Organizations

Enrichment event:

Any number of participants.  Suggest dividing into groups by grade level.  Will need video projection suited to the crowd, with provisions for playing a VHS cassette.  For groups larger than 30, a public address system.  Time required 90-120 minutes, including 15 minutes of questions from the whole group.  It may be helpful if some provision could be made for an additional, post lecture, question session for a small group of the most interested.

Building challenge: (schools)

This requires a group of parents and faculty to commit to  hosting the building portion of the event.  In particular, the parents will need to collect the building materials used by the students (typical household craft items for the most part), and the faculty will need to schedule class time for the students to construct their machines.  For grades 6-9 building the machines should be done over several classes.  The students will need time outside of build time to research their solution, but construction should be limited to in-class only.  Tools needed include scissors, hot-melt glue.  High school students could add simple hand tools (screwdrivers, saws) to the tool mix.  It would be possible to do a single day build with older and/or gifted students.

I will need to hold a pre-event conference with the faculty (in person if possible, conference call otherwise). I will need the lecture facilities of the enrichment event for the kickoff, and the cafeteria for the competition day. This isn't an event for the polished floor of the gym!  Volunteers in excess of the teacher complement will be needed for marshaling.  Several bullhorns are a good idea, at least one is mandatory.

Building Challenge (Not for Profit organizations).
Single challenge event, same structure as corporate event.  To keep costs down, the hosting organization will supply the junk, and tools. I will supply safety gear.  I will build the winners trophy during the competition, using your junk.  Same space and power requirements as the corporate building challenge.  Same setup and teardown help requirements as a fundraising event.


This will require a tough surfaced (tile, concrete) space, with bleacher seating, and good lighting, as I assume this event will happen at night.  A large space, so I can employ some of the more dramatic challenges, is strongly encouraged.  Power requirements are comparable to the corporate challenge, and teams will need work tables.  For maximum entertainment value (total show time of two hours plus intermission), the build phase is compressed, so 6-8 person teams are required, and there is a 4 team limit.

Teams should have some sort of uniform (team T shirts), pick a name, and recruit a cheering section. Mixed teams are encouraged, and having one or two actual students (with a parent) on each team is not unreasonable.  To minimize the transportation costs, the hosting organization supplies the junk (and preferably the tools). I will provide the safety equipment. I will need a video and Power Point venue for pre-show team orientation. Several volunteers to help set up and tear down will be required.  This would be a good event to involve the student radio station. (Would need a mechanically adept advisor in addition to the student announcer.)

Since this will be a night event, unless it is within a one hour drive of Boston, I will need accommodation after the event.  (Someone's guest bedroom should do.)

Costs - Schools & Not for Profit Organizations

Basic speaking fee, $500 for a single lecture, $750 for a full (school) day (up to three lectures, in up to three venues).

Building program (schools) $1,500, includes pre-build teachers' conference, a single lecture to students, and a full (school) day at the competition. Note: Usually requires multiple trips.

Building program (Not for Profit Organizations) $1000.  Half day event.  Does not inculde consumables (junk).

Fundraising event $1,500. Does not include consumables.  Budget (or arrange donation) for $250 for new fasteners, tape, and other hardware.  Includes one student enrichment lecture.

For all school and not-for-profit programs, travel expenses will be billed at standard IRS rates for distances over 75 miles from Boston, MA, transportation included for closer events.  Sites beyond 150 miles may require accommodation arrangements.  Sites beyond 200 miles will require air travel at your expense, and travel time billed at $250/half day.

For more information, or to schedule an event, contact: Jeff Del Papa   (617) 460 6424.  Events should be scheduled as far in advance as possible.  A minimum of one month prior notice is required for events requiring transport of building materials. Once booked, 30 days notice is required to cancel without incurring a charge.