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2010-11 Contest Orientation Orientation Agenda Introduction Rules Tips for Success Questions Contraption demonstration Chain Reaction Contraption Contest Contest Day Carnegie Science Center Friday, December 10, 2010 7:00AM - 4:00PM Challenge Make Change for a Dollar Team

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Presentation Transcript
orientation agenda
Orientation Agenda
  • Introduction
  • Rules
  • Tips for Success
  • Questions
  • Contraption demonstration
chain reaction contraption contest
Chain Reaction Contraption Contest
  • Contest Day
    • Carnegie Science Center
    • Friday, December 10, 2010
    • 7:00AM - 4:00PM
  • Challenge
    • Make Change for a Dollar
  • Team
    • Four students, a teacher and a mentor (mentor is optional but recommended)
step definition
Step Definition

A step is defined as an action that results in another action working towards the final goal of the machine. For example, the act of tipping over a block of wood with a rolling ball is a step. The actual tipping motion of the block is NOT a step, unless it causes another action to occur. A series of the same actions repeated (such as dominoes knocking each other over or a ball hitting another ball) are considered to be one step in the spirit of the Chain Reaction Contraption Contest.

student participation
Student Participation

We encourage any and all interested students to participate.

  • Only one team can represent your school
    • Multiple teams and send best contraption
    • Entire class on one contraption
    • All will receive participation certificates, but only the 4 student team will be eligible to receive prizes
  • Up to 4 home schools can combine efforts

The complete contest rules (included in the Official Handbook) are available on the web site:


  • Administrative Rules
    • Set up by assigned time on contest day.
    • No new construction is permitted at the contest site.
    • Contestants are responsible for removing their contraption and any debris after the contest.
    • Judging will be based on the rules set forth in the Official Handbook.
    • The judges will inspect the contraption for safety and rules infractions. The judges decisions are final.
    • The team must not spend more than $100 on the contraption.
  • Dimensions
    • The finished contraption must not exceed 5 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft. The contraption, while operating, must remain inside the dimensions. The platform is included in the maximum dimension measurement.
  • Time Limit
    • Each contraption must take at least 30 seconds to run completely through its steps and must not run longer than 2 minutes.
    • You will be required to run your contraption completely through its steps, reset your contraption, then run it through its steps again.
    • Your reset must take less than 4 minutes.
  • Restarts & Human Interventions
    • If your contraption should fail during its operation, you may decide whether to:
      • continue the run by helping a step along (a human intervention)
      • give up on the run and call a restart.
    • A restart
      • before the contraption completes its final step
      • only when the contraption is stalled
    • Only one restart will be allowed per run during the contest.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Each step must be marked on the contraption
    • No objects may leave the contraption boundary
    • Teachers, mentors and spectators are not allowed to coach or ask questions of the team
    • Turn in the Media Release Forms for each team member
    • Turn in your List of Steps, List of Purchased Materials & Contraption Photo
    • We will not tolerate Unsportsmanlike Conduct by team members
  • Changes
    • Photo Progress Reports
      • Summary of activity since last report:(i.e. changes in status, information on steps that gave the team trouble, ideas that did not work, improvements to the reliability, innovative scientific/engineering applications.
  • Changes
    • Score Sheet
      • How well does the contraption complete the requirements of the task?
        • 0 points if the task was completed poorly or unsuccessfully; 20 points if the task was completed extraordinarily well.
      • How unique and creative is the approach to achieving the task?
        • 0 points if approach to achieving the task is not unique or creative at all; 10 points if the approach to achieving the task is very unique and creative.
  • Conceptual Design (5 pts)
  • Photographic Progress Reports (10 pts)
  • Verbal Presentation (20 pts)
  • Chain Reaction Contraption Operation (110 pts)
  • Also see the handbook for potential deductions.

145 Points

important dates
Important Dates

October 4 Registration

October 11 Conceptual Design Proposal Due

October 25 Photographic Progress Report 1 Due

October 8 Photographic Progress Report 2 Due

November 22 Photographic Progress Report 3 Due

November 29 Media Release Forms Due

December 10 Chain Reaction Contraption Contest

making a successful contraption
Making a Successful Contraption
  • Set a schedule
  • Find a stable and easily transportable platform
  • Be patient
  • Be bold: change a step if it does not perform consistently
  • Allow time to correct the flaws
  • Be creative and don’t get discouraged
making a successful contraption17
Making a Successful Contraption
  • Come up with a design and construction plan.
  • A polished verbal presentation “sells” your contraption to the judges. Rehearse and plan for contest day.
  • Pay attention to the score sheets in the Official Handbook while planning your contraption and contest day strategy.
  • Make the steps reliable (no interventions, no restarts).
  • Mechanical steps are encouraged and score higher than battery-powered steps.
  • Come prepared on contest day to make at least 8 runs of your contraption.
  • The team shall identify the contraption’s final step to the judges during the opening presentation to avoid confusion during the contraption operation.
  • If your contraption is not working perfectly on contest day, come anyway! There are special awards for which your team will be judged, and a ton of ideas for the following year which your team will see.