Middle School Junkyard wars

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I am looking for ideas to use for a possible competition with my students. It would have to be waterdowned version. Any thoughts? Jim

-- Jim (geoteacher@aol.com), January 05, 2001


Sure, there are all sorts of possibilities.

First you should come up with some sort of task or challenge that the students need to complete. Some possible things could include:

- Egg launch / egg drop. Construct a device that will allow an egg to survive a 3 story drop. (My favorite design, an air cushion surrounded by a collapsable container).

- Water transport. Construct a device that will move water up. This would be a tabletop device that moves water 1-2 feet up - from one tank to another for example.

- Bridge construction. This is a classic school challenge. Build a bridge that spans x inches. The design that can support the most weight wins. Limits can be placed on materials - you can use up to 20 sheets of 8.5x11 paper and tape, etc.

Once you have the challenge, come up with a set of 'junk' that can be used. Tin foil, tape, paper, balsa wood, various plastic bits, etc. For the competition, lay the 'junk' in the middle of the room, split the class into teams, and let them go at it. Of course, there should be prep time to teach skills like planning, etc.

Can I play? :)


-- Chris Rake (car@technologist.com), January 05, 2001.

Well, i am a middle myself. I am currently trying to be the youngest contestant on JYW (it'll be me, my dad, and my dad's friend). I can weld too! I think you should give them some foam cups, plates, tape, paper, straws, ect... They should get 30 minutes to build the best sailboat. You'll need a long, (about 5 feet) body of water, and a small fan or something. The boat to go the farthest wins!

-- Ryley Felver (CSjACKhANDEY@aol.com), January 05, 2001.

Good luck! The age requirement is 18 - and it doesn't look to be terribly flexible.


-- Chris Rake (car@technologist.com), January 05, 2001.

Aww noo! I am only 13, I havnt seen anything that said you had to be 18, it just said that there may be insurance problems or something, that sucks!

-- Ryley Felver (CSjACKhANDEY@aol.com), January 05, 2001.

Check out the application section of www.junkyard-wars.com. It states that all applicants must be at least 18.

-- Chris Rake (car@technologist.com), January 05, 2001.

There may be a limit on the age, but there is a petition being developed by a bunch of friends to change that, look for the messages about junkyard kids and email those people for more information..... age limit or not, RDF says it is planning on creating a jr. edition, lets get coming.......

-- Kenny Cornett (physicsnut@mad.scientist.com), January 07, 2001.

How about trying either Science Olympiad or Destination Imagination. They have a bunch of grade-apropriate divisions, and a tiered competition system, that can accomidate more than 8 teams nationwide. I have gotten mixed reviews on the F.I.R.S.T robotic competition.

-- Jeff - The NERDS (dp@the-nerds.org), January 07, 2001.

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