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Mystery Architecture

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  1. Mystery Architecture The event where you don’t know what you are doing, and that is kind of the point.

  2. Who am I? • Andrew Roberts • ajrober4@gmail.com • 7 year participant in Science Olympiad • Multi event medal winner at regional and state competitions • Coached State Champions in Wright Stuff • Lead Instructor for Science Olympiad’s Summer Camps • Science Olympiad Student Intern

  3. Event Description • At the beginning of the event, each team will receive an identical bag of materials. • They will have 40 minutes to build a structure/device that can be tested • The materials and structure will not be announced until the competition starts

  4. Mystery Architecture Rules • The team can only use the materials that were given to them by the judges • There are two scoring dimensions • Primary: The main measurement that determines the winner • Secondary: The measurement used to break ties

  5. Mystery Architecture Rules • Students may bring: • 1 pair of scissors • 1 ruler • 1 pair of pliers • Nothing else will be allowed

  6. Common Types of Structures • Bridges • Towers • Cantilevers

  7. Common Types of Structures • Longest/tallest • Longest/tallest to hold a certain load • At least a certain height/length that can hold the most

  8. Other Possible Structures • Boats • Timed contraptions • Gliders • Be creative in practice

  9. How to Coach • This event is hard to coach, because it is hard to teach students to think outside the box • You can teach them: • Good engineering principles • Good building techniques • How to work together (to an extent) • Learning to think creatively requires practice and lots of it

  10. Types of Forces: Tension • Tension : the member is being “pulled” on

  11. Types of Forces: Tension • Good Tension materials: • Straws • String • Pipe cleaner (wire) • Paperclips • Paper

  12. Compression: the member is being “squished”

  13. Good Compression Materials: • Straws • Toothpicks • Popsicle sticks • Cups • Rolled up paper

  14. Good Engineering: TowersLoad Bearing Load Platform Legs Cross Bracing

  15. Bridges

  16. Cantilever Counter Balance Load Applied Here Table

  17. Examples • Good: • Doubled up straws for legs • Triangles for bracing • Bad: • Not level

  18. Examples • Good: • Very level • Triangles for bracing • Bad: • Legs are single straws instead of double

  19. Examples • Good: • Very level • Triangles for bracing • Multi-strawed legs • Bad: • Added extra materials just to use them

  20. Tips • Conserve materials in case you have to reuse something • Cut tape in half • Unravel string • Bring good tools (especially scissors) • Practice, practice, practice • Practice with different materials • Save straw wrappers