Your team of six space flight engineers has been selected by NASA
to participate in the following mission simulation.
||You are to launch a space probe (wiffle
ball) accurately onto a hidden target to earn points by using teamwork,
triangulation, and scale diagrams.
||A team of six Space Engineers:
two Spotters S1 S2, two
Mappers M1 M2 and two
Launchers L1 L2.
Judges will provide:
- Four Space Probes (golfball wiffle balls with velcro on them!). A wiffle ball is used in golf putting practice. It is like a ping pong ball with holes in it. A bare wiffle ball has been covered, as best as possible, with velcro strips that are sticky on one side so that they stick to the ball's surface. By doing this, a majority of the ball's surface has been covered.
Teams will provide:
- Astrolab or theodilite (a protractor & drinking straw device
used to spot and measure angles.)
- Elastic Band Launcher (Student Launchers must calibrate the launcher!
See note below.)
- Meter Sticks, data communication sheets (triangulation scale diagrams),
Note: Teams are required to design and build their own Astrolab,
theodilite, and Launchers ahead of time. Teams who design, test,
and spend the extra time calibrating their own equipment for competition
will likely be the most precise and accurate, and therefore most
- - Two Spotters S1 and S2 will be located at opposite ends of
the barrier, about 4 meters apart. The barrier prevents launchers and mappers from seeing
the target. They will use their own astrolab, theodilite or surveying
device to calculate each wall end angle towards Olympia. Spotters
will send these angles to their Mappers via their telemetry device,
data communiaction sheets.
- Two Mappers M1 and M2 will use the reported angles to calculate
the position of Olympia using triangulation. They will pass on
their scale model to the Launchers.
- Two Launchers L1 and L2 will use the triangulated scale model
to calculate their team's best probe launch trajectory. They will
then launch three probes one at a time at Olympia. Best average
- Each team has 20 minutes.
- Only partners may talk together (i.e., spotters with each other,
but spotters can't talk to their mappers or launchers.)
- Spotters only communicate their angles to mappers.
- Mappers only pass a scale map to launchers.
- No peeking over the barrier!!
- Each team does 8 launches: 4 hidden target launches and 4 visually
assisted launches. The Olympia bulls-eye is graded, e.g., get
inside the 10 cm ring = 10 pts; 50 cm ring, 5 points; 100 cm ring,
1 point. Bonus points are awarded for precision or clustering.
No bonus points are awarded for scattered shots. The team with
the most points wins. In the event of a points tie, the team with
the most accurate scale diagram wins. Further ties will be resolved
by judging the team's launcher based on its durability and creativeness.
||London District Science Olympics: John
Budge and Jon McGoey
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