Oakwood High School's Oakwood #1 took top prize at this year's Invention Challenge at JPL.

Oakwood High School's Oakwood #1 took top prize at this year's Invention Challenge at JPL. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech › Larger image

Now in its nineteenth year, the theme for this year's challenge was "Don't Waste a Drop" which required students to move 250 grams of water and a 3-D printed goldfish from a plastic cup to a larger water vessel. The challenges were many: getting systems of weights and pulleys to move smoothly; making sure cups didn't tilt too far or spill too much water; and even preventing the goldfish from breaking, which resulted in disqualification.

Catapults, conveyor belts and vacuums were among the many innovative devices built by students for the 2016 Invention Challenge, an annual engineering competition hosted at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Middle schools and high schools were represented from across the Los Angeles area and as far away as Riverside and Diamond Bar. One team even required passports: Feza Boys School of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The winners were two teams from Oakwood High School in North Hollywood, named Oakwood #1 and #2, and Los Angeles High School, whose team name was "Diamond." Awards were also presented for the most creative, most unusual, and most artistic devices.

› View the 2016 Invention Challenge Results

› 2016 Invention Challenge Rules and Forms