Mind Amazes Competition

mind amazes 1Teams of 3-4 students, grades 4-12, participated in the Mind Amazes Problem Solving Competition sponsored by KPBSD's Quest Program. This year's district-wide event took place on Saturday, October 9th at Soldotna Middle School.

Teams tackled long-term problems and spontaneous problems.

Long-Term Problem: Teams received these problems several weeks prior to the competition. This year's long-term problem asked teams to design and construct a device that would use one or more simple machines to perform six different functions within 30 seconds: ring a bell, turn a fan blade, raise an object a minimum of 5 cm, stretch a rubber band, spill a container of beans (min. of 10 beans) and burst an inflated non-latex glove. Teams were scored on their use of a lever, wheel and axle, inclined pane, wedge and screw. Project components could be found objects or items of cost that in total were no more than $10. Teams had one try to start their machine.

mind amazes 2Spontaneous Problem: Teams received these problems at the competition. Each team received a bag with 36 items (10 playing cards, 10 paper clips, 4 quarters, 4 dimes, 4 nickels and 4 pennies). Using the materials supplied, the teams were asked to build a structure that would support all of the coins using all of the cards and all of the paperclips. The teams had 2 minutes to think of their solution and 10 minutes to build it. Each structure needed to stay in place for a minimum of 15 seconds and scoring was based upon the monetary value of the coins on the structure times the measurement in inches.