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Virginia Science Olympiad: BUILDING EVENTS Div C Building Events Helicopters Mission Possible Mousetrap Vehicle Sounds of Music Tower Building BASICS TO REMEMBER Each device should be clearly labeled with the team name and number

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Virginia Science Olympiad:


building events
Building Events
  • Helicopters
  • Mission Possible
  • Mousetrap Vehicle
  • Sounds of Music
  • Tower Building
basics to remember
  • Each device should be clearly labeled with the team name and number
  • change: Helicopter motors, Mission Possible, Mousetrap Vehicle, & Tower must be impounded
  • Any student on the team may help build, impound, and/or compete with the device
safety regulations
  • Under each event description there is a section for “eye protection” followed by a number
  • Descriptions of what these numbers refer to appear on the under “events”
  • For most events the regular lab goggles with indirect vents will work (#4, ANSI Z87)
  • For Mousetrap Vehicle - #5 or high impact goggles/spectacles must be worn – that is they must be rated ANSI Z87+

Teams of 2 construct and test rubber-powered helicopters for maximum flight times

  • Teams can make 2 official flights with either the same helicopter or 2 different helicopters
  • “motors” must be impounded
  • Longest flight wins; 2nd flight is used as tie breaker
  • Tier 2 – construction and/or competition violations
  • Functional components must be constructed from wood, paper, plastic film covering, and glue – NO RIGID PLASTIC
  • Components may be attached to each other with tape, thread, paper, metal, plastic tubes, and/or rubber bands
  • NO pre-glued, or pre-covered surfaces

(basically – students must construct their own rotors)

  • The total mass of the helicopter must be a minimum of 4.0 g without the motor
  • Motors (+ o-rings if used for attaching) cannot exceed a mass of 2.0 g
  • Rotors (up to 3) cannot exceed a diameter of 40.0 cm
helicopters materials
Helicopters - materials
  • Very light tissue paper or mylar film
  • balsa wood
  • Super glue, spray glue
  • Winder, O-rings, plastic bushings
mission possible
Mission Possible
  • Design a Rube-Goldberg type device that completes certain tasks
  • impound
mission possible rules tips
Mission Possible – rules & tips
  • Device must fit in 50 cm x 50 cm x 80 cm imaginary box of any orientation – consider building an open box for students to build in
  • Read rules for specifics on voltage limits, allowed liquids, allowed electrical components, etc.
  • Find students with creative minds who know some electronics
mission possible rules
Mission Possible - rules
  • A list of tasks is given in the rules
  • Students must start with task 3a :

Drop a US quarter from above the entire device . The quarter must physically touch and snap a mousetrap that will begin the chain of events.

mission possible rules13
Mission Possible - rules
  • Students must end with task 3n :

Raise a sign completely above the top of the device using a single pre-filled helium balloon. The balloon must remain tethered to the device with a string

mission possible rules14
Mission Possible - rules
  • Teams may choose 8 additional tasks (3b-3m) that can be completed in any order – students turn in a task sequence list (TSL)
  • Tasks are worth different amounts of points
  • The device can run for a max. of 3 mins., but only earns time points for 60 secs. at Regionals and 60-90 secs. at States (2 pts/sec)
mission possible scoring
Mission Possible - scoring
  • Highest score wins
  • See rules for points breakdown and penalties
  • With the new format – if a team submits a device that has only the starting and finishing tasks, that works, meets specs, turns in a TSL, the team can earn 500+ points
  • No tiers
mousetrap vehicle
Mousetrap Vehicle

Students build a vehicle that is propelled by 1 or 2 mousetraps and can push a plastic cup out a distance and return to a point behind the starting line

* impound

mousetrap vehicle basics
Mousetrap Vehicle - basics
  • Only unmodified commercial mousetraps may be used with bases less than 6.0 cm x 12.0 cm
  • Items may be added to the moustrap, but the structural integrity of the mousetrap may not be altered and no holes can be made in the mousetrap
  • mousetrap can be attached by taping, tying, gluing, soldering, or clamping
mousetrap vehicle basics18
Mousetrap Vehicle - basics
  • the device must fit in a 1.0 m x 1.0 m box in start mode; no height restriction
  • the device must work in 1 piece
  • all energy must originate from the mousetrap
  • the device must be triggered by a perpendicular motion of a pencil, dowel, or similar device
  • the device must stop and reverse on its own
  • only the wheels & drive string may contact the track
  • a fixed pointed object must be on the perimeter of the vehicle 1 cm from the track
mousetrap vehicle basics19
Mousetrap Vehicle - basics
  • students may start the device anywhere along the start
  • line (there is a bonus if the vehicle stays within the
  • 1.00 m track width)
    • The fixed point does not have to be on the start line
    • The vehicle does not have to be behind the start line
  • students have 10 minutes to set up and run 2 trials
  • students may not follow the vehicle down the track or go to their vehicle until called by event supervisor
mousetrap vehicle scoring
Mousetrap Vehicle - scoring
  • lowest score wins
  • score = distance score + lane bonus + time score
mousetrap vehicle scoring21
Mousetrap Vehicle - scoring

distance score = the point-to-line-distance (perpendicular) in cm (to 0.1 cm) from the nearest edge of cup to 3 m line + the point-to-point distance in cm from fixed point on vehicle to center of minus 4 m line

(both are positive measurements)

mousetrap vehicle scoring22
Mousetrap Vehicle - scoring
  • Lane bonus: -30 points for vehicles who’s fixed point remains in the 1.00 m lane
  • Time score: the time of the run measured to 0.01 sec x 1 at regionals and x 2 at states
mousetrap vehicle other notes
Mousetrap Vehicle – other notes
  • the vehicle must reverse in 3 seconds
  • a recoil is not a reverse
  • not reversing adds 1500 points to the score
  • not pushing the cup = 300 point cup distance score
  • vehicles not passing 1.5 meters = 500 points
  • tier 2: competition violations
  • tier 3: construction violations
sounds of music
Sounds of Music
  • Students will build 1 wind and 1 percussion instrument that they will play on-site and answer questions about their operation
sounds of music construction
Sounds of Music - construction
  • with the exception of strings, no commercial parts of instruments may be used; no electronic devices are permitted
  • wind instrument – a column of air (or resonator) is set into vibration by a person blowing into or over it
  • percussion instrument – produces sound when hit with an implement, shaken, scraped, or any action that sets the instrument into vibration
sounds of music competition
Sounds of Music – competition
  • Part 1
  • each instrument must be able to play a 12 tone tempered scale in a specified range
    • Wind – C major (C4 to C5)
    • Percussion – G major (G2 to G3)
  • the instruments must play a required piece (in rules) and a chosen piece; both pieces must be notated by the students and submitted to the event supervisor and must contain melody and harmony in range
sounds of music27
Sounds of Music
  • Part 2
  • the interview
  • team members will be asked to play a note from their scale which will be judged for accuracy (tuner)
  • teams will be rated on creativity, originality, variety, workmanship
sounds of music28
Sounds of Music
  • Part 3
  • the test (written and/or interview)
  • teams will be asked about construction, tuning, how it makes sound, volume, pitch
  • teams must be able to explain basic principles of sound, wave theory, accoustics, harmonics, Bernoulli Effect
  • scoring is based on parts 1, 2, &3 – specific score sheet in rules
  • Students design a tower with best efficiency
  • up to 15 kg of mass will be tested
  • impounded
towers basics
Towers - basics
  • Important measurements:
    • Must be a min. of 50 cm above test base
    • Must span 20x20 cm opening on test base
    • Must pass through 8 cm diameter hole 15 cm above test base
towers basics32
Towers - basics
  • Other things to note:
    • Must be wood and glue (no bamboo, laminates, etc.)
    • No maximum wood size
    • Must support 5x5x2 cm block w/ ¼ “ threaded rod 50 cm above test base
    • Chain must hang within 2.5 cm of center of test base when bucket attached
towers scoring
Towers - scoring
  • The score is pure efficiency:
  • Efficiency = (mass held)2 bridge mass
  • Bridges that don’t meet specs are tested but moved to tier 2
  • Bridges that are untestable are in tier 3 and ranked by mass
towers tips
Towers - tips
  • Balsa has best weight to strength ratio – order online for better pieces ( has good balsa, cutters, etc.)
  • Glue adds the most weight – use sparingly
  • Have students draw plans, cover with clear packing tape and work on top of plan
  • Keep everything symmetrical, level, square