Kick Into the Can Contest
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.
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.
|Rich Alvidrez||General Helper|
|David Breda||Assistant to organizer|
|Bernardo Lopez||Assistant to organizer|
|Sherry Stukes||Recording Secretary|
|Scott Widholm||Recording Secretary|
|Robert Haw||Football Checker|
|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|
|Jeff Locke||Honorary Judge|
I look forward to next year's contest.