Sunday, April 14, 2013

Science Olympiad

Yesterday, Travis participated in our county's first ever Science Olympiad. He has been working for a couple months on his projects, staying after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He participated in 3 events: All in the Family (not 100% sure what that one involved), 3,2,1 Blast-off! and Bridge-a-roni. We were able to watch him for 3,2,1 Blast-off and Bridge-a-roni. Five schools participated in today's Science Olympiad: Burgaw Elementary, Penderlea Elementary, STES, Topsail Elementary and North Topsail Elementary. Fourth and Fifth graders are eligible for Science Olympiad and are selected by their teachers to partipate. Fourth graders make up the schools Junior Varsity team and Fifth graders are the Varsity team, but schools only had to have a varsity team to compete in an event. Our school had a JV team for each event also.

Here he is, looking bright-eyed at 8am.

Here he is, waiting his turn for 3,2,1 Blast-Off! It was pretty windy outside, so that was not the best conditions for launching soda bottle rockets. 

The gist of this project, is each team had to build a rocket out of a 2-liter soda bottle, that they would put water in, and then hook it up to an air compressor, which would make the rocket launch in the air. They were judged on the rockets flight time. So the higher it went, and the slower it fell, the better!

Here they are, getting their water. They had already experimented with different volumes of water, to figure out what would work best for their rocket. They also went with a design, that had a cup on topof the rocket, that would fall off during the launch, and let a plastic bag parachute deploy, slowing the rockets decent.

And now, they are ready to launch. I didn't get a picture of the rocket in the air. They were the very first team to compete in this event, and we had to watch all the others. No winners are announced until the end of the day.

His next event, was called Bridge-a-roni. I will better explain it below, but as you can involves building a bridge out of dry macaroni noodles. They had to design their bridge themselves. Here, they are getting it up on the stand and all lined up.

Making some final adjustments.

Here is where I can explain. They built a bridge of of macaroni. There is a hole in the middle of the bridge, that they then dangle a chain through, that holds an empty 5-gallon bucket. The bucket hangs just underneath the pipe, which connects to the barrel of sand up top. One participant controls the valve, that regulates the flow of sand into the bucket (slower is better!). The other participant (Travis) reports to the valve-tender if they need to slow down the flow or speed it up. They pour sand into their bucket, until the bridge collapses.

You can see the bridge has started to bend in the middle a little here. So now, the decision has to be made to back off, and hope they can get more in slowly, or speed up, and hope that the rapid flow of sand will get more in the bucket at a fast rate, even though it means the bridge will snap sooner, time-wise.

And it collapses. Now, they sift the noodles that fell into the bucket out, and weigh the bucket to see how much sand their bridge would hold. Theirs held around 11 pounds.

At the end of the day, there was an awards ceremony. And Travis and his partner took 3rd place for 3,2,1 Blast-off!!


Anonymous said...

Way to go Travis! Your projects sound interesting, especially the 1-2-3-Blast Off! Love, "Mama"

Anonymous said...

Oops! 3,2,1, Blast-Off!! Love, "Mama"

Anonymous said...

Travis, we're so proud of you and all of your hard work in school. Love, Debbie, Gary, and Annaleigh


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