Science Olympiad Regional competition! This room was set up as the command center. Teams had a place to store their gear, and event scores were projected for all to see in near real time.
Cloudcroft's coaches read in the rules that lab coats were often required clothing items...so they made them the team uniform! Really!
Entries for the tower competition are being checked in. Do they meet required size and height standards? How much do they weigh?
Some of the engineering/building events involve the construction of musical instruments. This one reminds me of The Blue Man Group, such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN-MUx6dg6w
I hope this one had a contact mike or some other way to amplify it.
One event honors the infamous Rube Goldberg machine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg_machine ...and each device must incorporate a minimum number of devices and mechanisms.
Most every year there is some sort of flying machine event. This year it's a helicopter.
New Mexico Military Institute cadets wind the rubber band for their entry. Stretch it first, then wind with a geared-up crank...and you can put over 1,000 turns in it!
The competition was held in a racquetball court.
The better entries had enough power to climb to the ceiling and stay there for over two minutes.
This 'obstacle course' was for the robotic arm competition - pick up various objects and place them in various containers...within a limited time.
One of the robotic arm entries.
For the Storm The Castle event students built a trebuchet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet and tried to hit a target on the first try.
I think this ramp was for the Mousetrap Contraption event...a small vehicle that is powered by the spring energy in a mousetrap.
This is not a Science Olympiad event, but this is what you see at New Mexico Military Institute on weekends.
I can't say I'm a fan of NMMI's architecture. But it is distinctive.
About half of the Science Olympiad events are academic in nature. Compute This requires students to access a data set and crunch numbers...a hands on, team-event academic test.
Other tests are strictly pencil/paper/calculator, such as the Astronomy event.
Back to Sci Oly HQ and the tower event. It's time to see how much weight they will bear....
Sand is slowly poured into a bucket until the tower collapses...then the load is weighed and a performance score calculated.
It can be a real nail-biter. How much can your tower take?
Some of them failed in a loud snap. Others sagged slowly until the bucket touched the floor.
Tools of the trade at one team's equipment table.
The Optics Lab was in two parts. There was an academic test, and a performance test where a team had to position mirrors to divert a laser pointer's beam around obstacles and onto a target. But you had to predict everything based on the initial beam orientation (laser pointer switched off). Only then was the laser turned on.
Scoring was based both on speed of setup and accuracy of results.
Back at HQ scores are updated and projected for all to see. This part of the competition really draws a crowd in the last couple hours of the day. Sometimes only one or two points separate first from second place.
Otside the gym students are preparing for the Bottle Rocket event. 1-liter soda bottles are used...with fins/blunt nose cone added. No parachute/recovery system is allowed to deploy this year...so the 'backslider' rocket design will probably be the best design choice.
The backslider rocket shoots up like a dart, but after apex it flutters sideways to the ground like a leaf...if you understand and properly apply the aerodynamic principles to make it happen.
The head referee adds water (reaction mass) to the rockets.
This rocket resembled an AIM-9 missile.
The bottle rocket launcher incorporated a bicycle pump for portability, and a pressure gauge for repeatability - 60PSI was launch pressure.