Physics and Astronomy

Vehicle Challenges
Objective To design, build and operate vehicles to carry out a number of tasks.
Purpose To learn about vehicle design, motion and mechanical engineering.
Participants: Teams of up to four.

Vehicles may be powered by one or a combination of mousetraps, elastic bands or batteries.

  1. Tracks can be set up to meet the criteria of the event selected.
  2. Track length can vary from 4 - 10 metres

Scores can be decided on the basis of one or more runs including such criteria as time taken, accuracy and originality of design. Possible Challenges (for the vehicle to tackle):

  1. Cross two barriers stationed 1 m and 3 m from the start and built from blocks 60 mm x 100 mm.
  2. At predetermined points the vehicle must fire one or more ping pong balls at targets set as right angles to the course.
  3. Cross a section of water where the vehicle must be amphibian.
  4. Maneuver around an obstacle course and carry out predetermined tasks. No radio control allowed.
  5. Climb a hill of predetermined length and steepness with the incline increased until the winner is the vehicle that climbs the steepest slope or the greatest distance up the steepest slope.
  6. Build and race a drag racing car against others in a series of elimination heats over a 10 metre track.
  7. Collect a number of articles placed at strategic locations along the track.
Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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