INA, Ill. (Feb. 12, 2014) - Fueled by free pizza and a passion for design, teams of area high school students stood toe-to-toe Wednesday at Rend Lake College to determine whose design deserved top honor in four categories.
The categories included air-fueled vehicle, egg vehicle, marshmallow structure, and rocket launch. Sandwiched between a full morning of tests in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Academic Challenge - a Regional is hosted annually at RLC - and afternoon WYSE awards, the team design competition was a way for students to exhale and have some fun.
"I thought it was a good way to wind down after testing," said one student just after watching her team's egg break from a dozen-feet drop. "I wasn't going to enter the design contest but after we got going it was fun and I'm glad I did."
There was a tie for the best-designed egg vehicle - Hamilton County Senior High School students Falisha Biggerstaff, Michaela Scott and Leslie Drone; and Webber Township High School's Jessica Cramer, Melina Launay and Hannah Scrhum. They were given a bit of string, 10 rubber bands, a meter of masking tape, five straws, a bundled of uncooked spaghetti and, of course, one egg.
The air-fueled vehicle competition went to the Mt. Vernon team of Allen McCarty, Michael Wright and Riley Cornett, with a distance of 171.5 cm. Fellow King City students Chyna Rivera, Wyatt Beaty and Molly Karnes crushed the marshallow bridge challenge when their structure finally gave way from the weight of 145 pennies. And it was Hamilton County taking home top honor in Rocket Launch. The design of teammates Andrew Welten, Grant Vaughan and Matthew Knight soared to a height of 33 inches.
The WYSE regional at RLC was coordinated by faculty and staff of its Math and Sciences Division. Dean Andrea Banach was joined by staff and faculty members Kay Shaw, Paul Sandrock, Diane Metzger, Tina Grounds and Cindy Caldwell, among others.
Results and team photos from the WYSE Academic Challenge are not yet ready for release. Additional information about the WYSE Regional at RLC is available by contacting Banach at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1258.
The WYSE competition consists of an Academic Challenge created by teams of college and university faculty in seven subjects. Each student takes a 40-minute test in each subject. The tests vary in length from subject to subject.
These competitive series of tests are offered by more than 50 community colleges and universities in Illinois and Missouri, according to the WYSE Web site. Test material is drawn from senior high school and freshman level college curricula. With each level of competition – Regional, Sectional and State Finals – the tests increase in difficulty.