Calling all young people in the Texoma area in grades 9 through 12. We have a design and engineering challenge for you at the Texoma Mini Makers Faire. If you are enrolled in any public, private, parochial, or home school located in Texoma, you are eligible.

Are you up to a challenge? You may be just the person we are looking for. Maybe you know some smart and adventurous lads and lasses. Maybe you are a parent or teacher who knows some smart kids. Let them know. Share this post. A great many teams will add to the fun and excitement of the Texoma Mini Maker Faire coming in October.

The challenge for our grade 9 thru 12 grade teams, which will consist of 2 to 4 members, is to design and build a device that will zip down a line and drop a marble onto the center of the target.

Lego zipline for illustrative purposes only.

The competition also includes a presentation phase that includes a design drawing of the device as designed, and an oral and written presentation of engineering notes created during the exercise. More details later. Let’s move on.

And we have great prizes for the winners!

Three teams will win awards for performance- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
There will also be a Judges Award for the one team recognized for the best display of teamwork, design, and creativity.

Teams are encouraged to practice their building and testing skills.

All teams are encouraged to practice building and testing a prototype before the event, but you cannot use your prototype during the event. No, you must create your device during the competition from materials provided and with the tools provided in a period of 60 minutes.

Maybe you want to dig further into the Details. Or maybe you are ready to enter. Here is a link.

Each team will be provided all the tools and materials needed to complete the engineering challenge.

Each Team will be provided with materials that you can alter.

5 – 3” by 5” index cards
5 – sheets of paper
1 – 2 to 5 oz cup
2 – paper clips
3 m (9’) fishing line
.5 m masking tape

Each Team will be provided with tools and materials that cannot be altered.

1 metric ruler
1 copy of challenge instructions
permanent markers
1 pair of scissors
1 pencil
Device (track) supports
1- target (center =10 pts, middle ring = 5 pts, outer ring = 2 pts)
carbon paper
A Team member sign

Let’s take a look at the competition process.

Each team will have 4 roles to fill. 2 member teams will obviously double up.
The system engineer will verify that the team designed device has a name, team members have specific roles, and documentation is complete. He or she will work with the rest of the team to develop their presentation for the judges.
The structural engineer will be responsible for verifying to the judges that you device follows all requirements.
The launch engineer will be responsible for setting up the line and target, plus running your device in your work area.

The Specifics of the Zipline Challenge.

The zip line should be 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length, tied securely between the objects, and the end of the line is 50 cm (20 inches) below the start of the line.
The start of the line may be between 80 and 100 cm from the floor. All devices will be inspected to make certain they meet design requirements.

The center of the paper target will be placed on the ground .5 meters from the end of the line. There will be one performance run of the device. Judges will monitor the launching of the device and determine which part of the target is hit by your marble.

Further notes on the challenge process.

Each team will be provided with the same materials to build their safe landing device. Teams will have 1 hour (60 Minutes) to plan, build, and test their device.
Design drawings, notes and documentation will be completed also. At the end of 1 hour, time will be called and construction will stop.

In Judging Area 1 (Presentation judges)- the team’s “System Engineer” will submit the team’s Project Documentation forms (4 pages) & lead the team’s presentation.

In Judging Area 2 (Performance judges)- the team’s “Structural Engineer” will ensure to the judges that the team’s device follows all requirements; the “Launch Engineer” will launch the device and retrieve the marble after it hits the target. The device will be judged accordingly.

Details on Scoring the Event

scoring system for grade 9-12 challene

Details on the scoring system for the 9 – 12 grade challenge used by the judges. Click for a larger image

The details of the scoring are inside the entry form.

We want to meet and introduce our teams to your adoring public.

Therefore there are restrictions rights and release requirements to participate.
We will need each participant to allow the use of their name and photograph and biography for bragging about each of our Showcase contributors to the rest of the world. The details are in the application form.


This blog post is a chitty chatty version of the official documentation. If there are any discrepancies between what is represented here and the official entry form, you know that this blogger is full of hot air, i.e. wrong.

So who knows some bright 9th thru 12th graders who would be great candidates for this challenge?

Who knows some teachers, babysitters, or big sisters, who know a potential candidate?

Share this and let people know- parents, pets, sisters or brothers, or neighbors. We want Texoma’s best and brightest. We want everyone to have a chance.

Thanks. 🙂

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

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