By Walnut Valley Unified
Congratulations to Chaparral Middle School sixth grade students Karissa Wong and Joshua Chou who won top awards in the “Keep it Moving” Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) Design Competition.
The team brought home a 4th Place award at the regional contest last year and advanced to the finals.
The Chaparral students competed among 20 teams at the finals. Most were at the high school level, but that didn’t stop these determined middle school students.
Wong and Chou won 3rd Place and the Most Creative Design awards.
The objective of the Keep it Moving challenge was to invent a device to move a billiard ball between five to eight meters using three modes of transportation – gravity, any sort of spring, and a free choice of energy like a motor.
They designed an upside-down rubber band catapult to push the ball up to the top of a 20-foot long rain gutter ramp. The ball had to be kept moving (spinning didn’t count) the entire time during the contest.
The billiard ball rolled down the ramp by gravity until it was blocked by a servomotor arm, which moved back and forth to keep the ball moving very slowly for timing accuracy.
At a specific time, a computer commanded the arm to open up to let the ball continue to roll down and hits two triggering switches to turn on loud buzzers. The entry also needed to initiate an audible sound as close to 20 seconds as possible, by the ball.
The Chaparral students clocked an impressive 20.218 or 0.218 second over the 20-second mark!
What was the best part of the experience?
“We liked the meetings and practices at Chick-fil-A best!” the pair exclaimed.