JPL ANNUAL INVENTION CHALLENGE - 2009
Ton of Bricks Contest

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Inside vonKarman Auditorium on a rainy day, a packed room with more than 300 people watched an exciting, fun, chaotic, "three-ring" JPL Invention Challenge.  It was hard to keep up with the amount of activity that took place during the event.  Three simultaneous stations for loading the cardboard bridges to destruction kept onlookers busy just trying to capture the action.  I was pleased to see the fantastic turnout for this exciting event.  We had 20 student teams and 9 JPL teams show their answer to the set of rules that were posted back in August.  The variety of solutions proved to be most entertaining to the 300 or so onlookers at this year's JPL Invention Challenge.  It was nice to see that many of the students were proudly wearing their custom made "Ton of Bricks" T-shirts to the finals event.

Entry No. School/JPL Name Team Name Bridge Name Passed Inspection Bridge Wt. (lbs) Length Width Height Load Efficiency Award
101 Richard Goldstein   Lazy-D Yes 0.40 53.3 10.0 23.0 138.50 346.25 JPL-1st and Lightest
109 David VanBuren   Gull Wing Yes 1.82 54.5 3.3 14.5 235.40 129.34 JPL-2nd
21 Crescenta Valley High School Falkon Try-Angle Yes 2.20 56.0 4.0 8.8 235.40 107.00 Student-1st
22 Crescenta Valley High School Falkon Thin Lizzy Yes 2.40 64.0 16.3 8.0 165.15 68.81 Student-2nd and Most Unusual
20 Crescenta Valley High School Falkon Heavy Evy Yes 2.40 56.3 6.0 20.0 159.40 66.42 Student-3rd
30 Temple City Plan C Safety Net Yes 0.89 51.8 6.5 6.0 59.00 66.29  
40 Monrovia Monrovia HS Fredo's Team Yes 3.58 52.3 6.0 6.0 235.40 65.75  
106 Brant Cook   Dunder Mifflin Bridge Yes 2.40 55.0 7.0 15.8 145.25 60.52 JPL-3rd
111 Tom Roberts   Melvin, I'm NOT Driving Over That thing Yes 2.30 49.0 18.0 3.0 124.81 54.27  
110 Ray Roberts   Shark Attack Yes 2.20 52.3 11.8 17.3 105.00 47.73  
31 Temple City Capt. Morgan & Crew The Plank Yes 0.83 52.0 7 5.5 35.00 42.17  
8 Granite Hills To Mars none given Yes 0.41 58.3 10.2 6.3 17.25 42.07  
35 Los Angeles Senior High School Romans 1 Team 1 Yes 5.70 59.5 14.0 14.8 235.40 41.30  
9 Granite Hills Tipoes none given Yes 0.42 51.0 7.5 7.0 17.25 41.07  
41 Magnolia Science Magnolia Science Brick master Yes 5.70 58.5 10.5 3.5 230.50 40.44  
5 South Pasadena High School SPSC Bridge on the Bricks Yes 6.00 53.0 17.8 5.5 235.40 39.23  
29 Temple City QTπ Bubble Yes 1.00 52.0 8.0 8.5 36.00 36.00 Most Artistic
107 Paul MacNeal (Exhibition)   KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Yes 1.70 63.3 11.3 20.0 59.00 34.71  
15 Manual Arts High School none given none given Yes 7.50 60.0 13.5 16.0 235.40 31.39  
104 Asim Sehic   Strong Like Bull Yes 7.50 61.0 6.5 34.3 235.40 31.39  
6 Monroe Magnet Middle School The Godz Atlas Yes 7.60 63.3 13.0 29.0 235.40 30.97 Largest
2 Arcadia Billy Goat Gruff The Octogon Yes 7.60 59.3 5.0 5.0 230.50 30.33 Smallest
103 Gray Troutman   No Glues is Good Glues DQ 5.8 54.8 7.0 6.8 173.00 29.83  
37 Los Angeles Senior High School Romans 3 Team 3 Yes 7.90 61.3 15.3 15.5 235.40 29.80  
4 Arcadia Bridge to Alcatraz The Golden Gate Yes 5.40 60.3 6.5 24.8 159.31 29.50 Most Creative
36 Los Angeles Senior High School Romans 2 Team 2 Yes 5.50 72.8 6.5 23.5 150.00 27.27  
28 Chaminade College Prep School Eagle Engineering none given Yes 8.80 61.5 13.3 3.5 235.40 26.75 Heaviest
105 Daniel B. Klein   What's up, Doc? Yes 7.90 64.0 14.0 18.5 208.50 26.39  
38 Monrovia Monrovia HS Perfect Squares Yes 1.88 59.8 5.5 5.0 46.50 24.73  
108 Scott Shaffer   Lignin Bridge   No show         0.00  
102 Lawrence P. Weir   Truss me, it'll hold   No show         0.00  

I wish to thank all of the volunteers (listed below) that put on the show.  Without their help, the event would not be possible.  A special thanks goes out to Kim Lievense and her Public Services team, headed by Maggie Porter, for organizing all of the entry and release forms and processing more than 160 student badges for all of the student teams.  I also wish to acknowledge the talented work performed by Robert Denise for fighting off a head cold and being the announcer and master of ceremonies during the "three-ring circus" contest.  My sincere thanks go to Gay Hill, Jess Doherty, Carolina Carnella-Martinez, and the rest of the Media Services staff.

Name: Position:
Paul MacNeal Organizer
Richard Alvidrez General Helper
David Breda Assistant to organizer
Cynthia Bevans Assistant to organizer
Fannie Chen Recording Secretary
Sherry Stukes Recording Secretary
Chris Landry Referee
Robert Denise Announcer
Anthony Lopez Check-in
Coco Mariano Check-in
Charlene Paloma Check-in
Gloria Mar Check-in
Mircea Badescu Loading Judge
Ken Hurst Loading Judge
Fabien Nicaise Loading Judge
James Pura Bricklayer
Isaac Brown Bricklayer
Anna Intharathut Bricklayer
Kris Katagiri Bricklayer
Jane Cho Bricklayer
Monica King Bricklayer
Dan Klein Bricklayer
Bernardo Lopez Bricklayer
Susan Finley Bricklayer
Joseph Joe Set-up helper
Charles Garner Set-up helper
Scott Widholm Set-up helper
John Segui Set-up helper
Bernardo Lopez Set-up helper
Scott Widholm Clean-up helper
Joseph Bergstrom Photographer
Steven Wissler Photographer
Amelia Quon Photographer
Steve Nelson Videographer
Majid Sarraf Judge
Dave Taylor Judge
Paul Bailey Judge
Jesse Hwang Judge

-Paul MacNeal
Contest Organizer