National Engineers' Week Student Competitions
UAA Campus, Anchorage, AK
Saturday February 26, 2011 ; 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
Awards Ceremony at 3:00 PM
Click here to get a PDF version of
the 2011 Rules. This prints much better than the web page.
The FREE Acobat Reader is required to view this file.
Floatable Moatable Marble Competition:
Last edited 01/26/09
Objective: Using materials provided at the start of the competition
time, design and build a free floating “boat” that can be loaded with a
large number of marbles (and still float) in a five-minute time frame.
The winning entry will be the one that holds the most marbles without
sinking before the end of the loading period.
competition is designed to let young engineers experience extemporaneous (i.e.
"on-the-spot") design. Your
Team of 4 or 5 members will be issued a kit one hour prior to testing time and
be allowed to construct a winning craft and a device for loading it with marbles
from a distance. Official float
construction kits (containing things like baggies, tape, paper clips, card
stock, string, etc.) will be issued the day of the competition.
Procedures and Specifications:
a. Register for a starting time at the registration table located at the competition site on the day of the competition.
b. Your team will have exactly one hour to invent and make a floatation structure and a marble-loading device using only the official contest materials kit provided. You are not required to use ALL of the materials provided. Every idea is a good idea.
floatation structure must be free-floating. This means your floatation structure
must be made so it moves freely around the tank, and not affixed inside
or outside the tank in any way. You may try out your design at any time at one
of the practice tanks provided.
exactly one hour, STOP work; and your team will be given five minutes to place
your floatation structure in the storage waiting area until your contest time
comes. No more work on your floatation structure will be permitted.
your team is called for the contest, you will have FIVE minutes to get your
flotation structure from storage, set it up, and organize your team. Then, when
the contest begins, you will have FIVE minutes get as many marbles as possible
into your floatation structure. No leaning over the table will be permitted.
Remember, if your Flotation Structure sinks, your Team is out of the
FIVE minutes, the competition time is over. Your floatation structure must still
be floating to remain in the competition. If your floatation structure sinks, or has sunk, your team will
be out of the competition. The
number of marbles in the floatation structure will be counted. Any marbles which
have fallen onto the table, the floor, or the tank will be subtracted from your
you are encouraged to get your teams together and practice group activities
prior to the official contest. Structure your activity similar to the actual
contest by gathering a kit (paper, baggies, tape, scissors, etc.) of
approximately 10 to 15 items and constructing a floating device in a given time
period. Then give the team 5 minutes to fill it up. Your design must also
include a device for getting the marbles into the floating structure because
leaning over the table is not permitted.