JPL ANNUAL INVENTION CHALLENGE - 2011
Kick Into the Can Contest

Event photos | Event video

Under beautiful blue skies and a light wind, the JPL Invention Challenge was held last Friday on the 180 Mall with more than 300 spectators and participants. This year's contest objective was to build a device that kicked a regulation size and weight football into a trashcan located five meters away. Each team was allowed to have their device kick the football a maximum of three times within a one minute time interval. Points were awarded for getting close to or inside the trashcan. The winner was the team whose device accumulated the most points.

A total of 23 school teams and 7 JPL teams came up with different ways to accomplish this task. The energy sources were varied such as surgical tubing, bungee cords, gravity, springs, and compressed air. The complete list and total scores are shown below for each of the entries.

This year, the JPL teams and the school teams performed tremendously well. In the case of the school teams, a total of six teams received a perfect score of 150 points. Those 6 teams participated in a tiebreaker round in which each team had one "kick" towards the trashcan that had a smaller opening (15.5 inches in diameter versus the original 20.3 inch diameter). Additionally an extra 10 points was awarded if the ball did not touch the rim when going inside the trashcan (60 points). Remarkably, two teams kicked their football into the trashcan as a "swish" so a second tiebreaker round was held at which point Culver City High School came out on top and Crescenta Valley High School came in second place.

In January, a series of photographs will be posted on the site, and a few DVD copies of the video may be made available.

Entry No. School Name Team Name Entry Title Length (cm) Width (cm) Height (cm) Weight (lbs) Kick 1 Kick 2 Kick 3 Total Score 1st Tiebreaker 2nd Tiebreaker Comments
001 South Pasadena Middle School M&M Timber Force 98 60 81 35 30 30 10 70     Most Artistic
002 Monroe Magnet Middle School Foothill Ninjas Kiyay 109 107 130 35 10 10 30 50     Most Creative
004 Diamond Bar High School Team Sprocket Sebastian Janikowski 134 69 192 60 25 10 10 45      
005 Los Angeles Senior High School Roman Builders   243 82 191 60 30 50 30 110      
007 Temple City High School The Avengers Captain America 109 64 137 40 10 10 0 20      
008 Temple City High School XUFTC Guren 145 64 180 50 10 30 10 50      
009 Temple City High School Dai Lo Cross Bow 122 63 199 65 30 50 30 110      
010 San Marcos High School Royal Pains ILL Tempered Bass 79 93 109 35 50 50 50 150 30 60 3rd Place - School
011 Pacific Technology School-Santa Ana Pac Tech Kick   183 125 195 120 50 50 30 130     Most Unusual
016 Bancroft Middle School Bob the Builders Imatomi 111 68 91 40 10 10 10 30      
032 Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies LACES Rocketeers LACES Rocketeers 261 61 191 450 30 50 10 90     Heaviest
039 Culver City HS Shockolate Neoclassy 529 213 65 197 65 50 50 50 150 60 30 1st Place - School
041 Culver City HS Manana Ninjocycle 9.0 90 90 113 25 10 30 50 90      
043 Crescenta Valley HS CVHS #1 Kickerthing 91 93 183 100 30 30 30 90      
045 Crescenta Valley HS CVHS #3 Hyperion 120 66 132 80 50 50 50 150 60 10 2nd Place - School
052 Morningside HS Beltran in the Middle The Shoe-ter 121 73 123 50 50 30 50 130      
054 Alexander Hamilton HS Team Best Team Team Best Team 152 122 196 90 50 50 50 150 30 30 4th Place - School
057 Savanna HS LEMJM   173 79 189 35 50 50 50 150 10   6th Place - School
059 Savana HS No Punt Intended No Punt Intended 182 87 176 30 30 30 30 90      
065 Granite Hills HS     197 48 199 180 30 10 50 90      
069 Gabrielino High School Moneyball Eagles   94 75 191 95 30 0 10 40      
077 South East High School Jaguars #2 The Trojan 166 86 148 40 30 50 30 110      
078 Diamond Bar HS DBHS Team A "Don't worry about it" 281 108 196 250 50 50 50 150 30 30 4th Place - School Largest
101 Richard Goldstein   Still Kicking 152 38 44 20 30 50 50 130     2nd Place - JPL Smallest, Lightest
102 Kristan Ellis   O-CAN-IT-DUH 94 61 133 25 10 0 10 20      
103 Kristan Ellis   Pigskin In A Poke 217 62 113 100 0 0 0 0      
104 Cameron Goodale, Paul Ramirez, and Keith Hill   Ball Eject Super Technology 152 39 192 170 50 50 50 150     1st Place - JPL
105 Gary Gray   Magnetic Kicking Machine 204 100 197 120 10 25 10 45      
106 Troubleshooting Troubleshooting Troubleshooting 200 87 162 360 10 25 30 65      
107 Andy Etters, Mark Rober, Dan Vartolomei   The Wrath of Ray Finkle 122 60 135 130 30 50 50 130     2nd Place - JPL

I wish to thank all of the volunteers (listed below) that put on the show. Without their help, the event would not have been possible. A special thanks goes out to Kim Lievense and her Public Services team, headed by Roni Dash, for collecting the entry forms and video release forms and processing more than 200 student badges for all of the student teams. I also wish to acknowledge the talented work performed by Robert Denise for being the master of ceremonies during the extra-long 140 minute contest. I also would like to thank Jeff Locke (punter for UCLA Bruins Football Team) for coming out and talking with the students.

Name: Position:
Paul MacNeal Organizer
Rich Alvidrez             General Helper
David Breda  Assistant to organizer
Bernardo Lopez                             Assistant to organizer
Sherry Stukes      Recording Secretary
Scott Widholm                             Recording Secretary
Chris Landry Referee
Robert Denise Announcer
Steven Wissler                  Check-in
Daniel Turner                         Check-in
Juan Fernandez             Check-in
Robert Haw                       Football Checker
Hart Finger                Timer
Fabien Nicaise                       Field Judge
Clayton Dilks                       Football Spotter
K. Charles Wang                   Football Spotter
Andres Andrade       Football Spotter
Lyn Repath-Martos                          Area Patroller
Kent Frewing                       Area Patroller
Brian Morrison                       Area Patroller
Joseph Joe                       Set-up Helper
Julia Stalder                          Set-up Helper
Scott Widholm                      Set-up Helper
Scott Widholm                  Clean-up helper
Amiee Quon Photographer
Wesley Kuykendall                     Photographer
Bryan Johnson                          Photographer
David Tseng                          Videographer
Pamela Huntoon                          Judge
Jeffrey Dollinger                          Judge
Paul Bailey                          Judge
Jeff Locke                          Honorary Judge

I look forward to next year's contest.

-Paul MacNeal
Contest Organizer