The JPL Annual Invention Challenge is a friendly, yet challenging competition open to JPL employees and contractors, their family members, and students from local middle and high schools. Each year, a different engineering challenge is selected. The goal of the Invention Challenge is to show students that math, science, and engineering can be fun.
The theme for this year's contest was:
"Streaming Tissue Toss Contest"
With more than 300 spectators and participants, this year's contest objective was to create a device that propels a provided roll of tissue paper such that the tissue unravels in mid-air and creates a long unbroken stream. The winner will be the team whose device propels the roll and creates the longest unbroken stream of tissue paper. A total of 20 school teams and 8 JPL teams came up with different ways to accomplish this task. The energy sources were varied such as surgical tubing, bungee cords, gravity, belt drive, and a flywheel. The JPL teams and the school teams performed well. It was a difficult challenge because of the balance between throwing the TP roll a long distance and avoiding tearing the TP from its anchor on the device.
› View the 2012 Results