western
Physics and Astronomy

                                   
Tower Of Balsa
Objective To construct a tower out of balsa wood
Purpose To investigate the physics of structures.
Participants Teams of up to four.
Materials Balsa wood, white glue.
Rules
  1. The structure must have the minimum dimensions of (a) height - 30 cm (b) basal area - 100 cm
  2. The structure must weigh no more than 15 grams.
  3. The structure may be of balsa wood only.
  4. Any type of standard white glue may be used, nails, etc., are left to the discretion of the builder.
  5. The tower must be pre-built before the competition.
  6. Before the test of the Tower of Balsa, each team must promote their tower - give a sales pitch to the public (2 minutes time limit strictly enforced).
  7. The weights loading and testing apparatus will be provided.
  8. The weights may be added in any order.
  9. The structure must support the weight for 10 seconds.
  10. Weights must be added at ten second intervals.
Judging
  1. The structure supporting the greatest weight will be given 80 points, and the rest of the teams will be awarded points on a decreasing scale based on the weight they hold relative to the winning team's weight.
  2. The promotional presentation will be worth 20 points, with the judges' decision to be based on features such as oral skills, knowledge of physical science, audience appeal, etc...
Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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