Kids Compete with Quirky Creations

Kinetic Challenge Inspires Student Teams

The Orlando Science Center hosted the Kinetic Challenge on Saturday, February 18, 2012 - a science competition geared toward 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders in eight Central Florida counties. Kinetic Challenge allows students to use their creativity and science knowledge to win money for their science class or club.

Projects at the Kinetic Challenge resemble those made famous by American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Machines are assembled using household, store-bought and found items and are designed to perform a simple task in complex fashion. By utilizing kinetic energy, a single action sets events in motion that result in a domino effect.

Past projects included a Barbie in a hamster wheel that generated electricity and a toy car used to raise an American flag. The competition fosters teamwork and hands-on learning while motivating students to stretch the capacity of their imaginations by transforming ordinary and found objects into a kinetic sculpture. Kinetic Challenge focuses on Florida Sunshine State Standards for Science including energy, force and motion, and the nature of science. The event is sponsored by the Stephen H. Goldman Foundation, Inc.

Awards were given based on the complexity of motion, best use of found materials, mechanical innovation and artistic expression. Best in Fair winners received a $500 prize for their school and a trophy. Prizes of $250 were also awarded to Most Artistic and Most Scientific and to the winning school’s sponsoring teacher. The competition was open to student teams from schools that resided in Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole or Volusia counties.

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