On a pleasant day with no wind, the 2019 JPL Invention Challenge was held last Friday on the 180 Mall with more than 400 spectators and participants. This year’s contest objective was to create a device that can put up to 10 ping pong balls into a Mason jar located five meters away within the one minute time allotment. The winner was the team whose device placed the most ping pong balls into the jar.

A total of 21 school teams and 9 JPL teams came up with different ways to accomplish this task. Four of the JPL sponsored teams were from Ethiopia or Germany. One team came from Colorado. The device concepts were varied such as leaf blowers, shop vacuums, rotating wheels, catapults, and measuring tapes. The results can be found in the attached spreadsheet and later in the week can be found on the JPL website located at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/inventionchallenge/2019/results.php . The winning entry from Diamond Bar High School (Project Defying Gravity 2.0) placed 10 balls in the first round, 15 balls in the first tiebreaker, and 20 balls in the second tiebreaker for a perfect score!

My congratulations go out to everyone who worked on this challenging problem and a special thanks goes out to the four foreign teams that flew all the way in from Ethiopia and Germany.

In January, a series of photographs will be posted on the site.

I wish to thank all of the volunteers 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 Kim Johansen, for collecting the entry forms and video release forms and processing more than 250 student badges for all of the student teams. I also wish to acknowledge the talented work performed by Brian White for stepping in at the last minute to be the master of ceremonies during the contest.

Entry # School Name Team Name  Ball Count Award
004 Diamond Bar High School Project Defying Gravity 2.0 10+15+20 1st Place - Student
049 Temple City High School TC - 2 10+15+19 2nd Place - Student
008 Arcadia High School Absolute Value C 10+15+18 3rd Place - Student
017 Oakwood High School Aqueducts 10+14 Heaviest
019 Oakwood School TC - 3 10+13  
005 Diamond Bar High School DBQ Sauce 10+6  
101 Alan DeVault Nolte/DeVault 10 1st Place - JPL
018 Oakwood School Gold Rush 9  
20 Larchmont High School A is Apricots 9  
031 Oxford Academy J.A.R.V.I.S. 9  
102 Richard Goldstein Goldsteins 9 2nd Place - JPL
16 Oakwood High School Black Mambas 8 Most Unusual
54 Segerstrom High School Segerstrom Femineers 7  
044 Temple City High School Team B DQ - Did not complete task Heaviest
72 Da Vinci Communications DVC 7  
110 Austin DeShong Spit, Grit, and a Whole Lotta Duct Tape 7 3rd Place - JPL
025 Polytechnic School Hephaestus 6 Most Creative
103 Reema Dawar RDAWAR 6  
070 Culver City High School Bagel Bytes Team 1 4  
009 Santa Monica High School Space Ballz 3 Largest
003 Lawndale High School Overtime 3  
003 Diamond Bar High School rEDDit 2  
113 Annabelle Evolution 2  
036 Alexander Hamilton High School Hami Hamsters 1  
020 Lakeside High School HUANBAO TOWER 1  
109 Kimberly Becker Centaurus (Colorado) 1 Most Artistic
019 New Village Girls Academy Pink Punks 0  
033 South Pasadena High School SPHS Team 2 0  
110 Yasin Giray Robot Lucy (Ethiopia) DQ - not balanced  
104 Salih Ergun THE BIL CHALLENGE (Germany) 0 Smallest
107 Kilic Independence (Ethiopia) 0 Lightest
108 Asrat Addisu Robot-INTS (Ethiopia) 0  
024 Los Angeles High School Rover No Show  
105 Yasin Giray Abyssinian Launcher (Ethiopia) Damaged during transport  
106 Gul Eren Ethiopian Catapult (Ethiopia) Withdrew  
111 Cleary Wong Cata Throw Withdrew