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10th High School Engineering CompetitionHigh School Competition

10th Annual High School Engineering Competition


3:30 P.M.

(GRADES: 9-12)

Entry Forms and $5.00 Entry Fee per student-event must be postmarked by Friday, March 30, 2012. Events are intended for individual competitors. Partners may enter, but all participants must submit an entry form and pay an entry fee.

$150, $100, and $50 will be awarded respectively to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners of each of the four competitions.

Please call (901) 321-3405 or email



Egg Drop Competition

We handle packages in one form or another every day. Most of us are unaware of the science and engineering that go into making packaging materials. Packaging engineering is a comparatively new interdisciplinary field in which scientific and engineering principles are applied to develop and produce packages that contain, protect, preserve, inform, and sell a product.

The goal of the competition is to design “green” packaging (container and cushioning packing) to contain and protect a raw chicken egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 16 feet or more. Soft, crushable packing that encloses a lot of air iworks well. Think of materials that are yielding and light. What soft and fluffy materials could be used? How can the weight of the package (box and packing), as well as the volume of the box, be minimized?

Only renewable materials may be used -- no plastics, foams, styrofoam, “packing peanuts”, fiberglass, etc. are allowed. No wooden, metallic or plastic containers may be used. Paper, cotton, wood chips and other environmentally friendly materials should be used as cushioning. The outside container must be made from a form of paper or cardboard. Plastic adhesive tape is not allowed; however, masking tape is permitted.

Each package may be tested several times at increasing heights in order to determine winners. An additional round of tests using an inclined impact tester may be used if needed to decide on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers.


CO2 Car Competition


Cars, airplanes, and rockets all have engines that work by converting chemical energy to mechanical energy. Exercise your chemical and mechanical engineering potential by designing a vehicle powered by baking soda and vinegar. The one that goes the farthest wins!

Baking soda and vinegar combine to produce carbon dioxide gas. If the CO2 is directed through a nozzle, the thrust produced by the nozzle may be used to move a vehicle (car, sled, etc.). Your vehicle must transport a “load” (a raw Grade A Large egg) intact, in a specified direction, and over a hard surface such as asphalt, tile, concrete, or brick. The test course may be slightly inclined or uneven, but it will have no drop-offs or ditches. It may be outdoors and therefore subject to wind, moisture, small debris, etc. Each vehicle will be permitted a maximum of two attempts to navigate the course.

Vehicles will be judged based on the distance they travel within the course confines. The winning vehicle will be the one with the single best run. Ties will be settled using the average of the runs a vehicle made.


Crate Building Competition

Crates are used to transport goods from one location to another. Often they are stacked on top of one another and so must be strong enough to protect their contents. Similarly buildings are subjected to various loads, including gravity.

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the Packaging Program at CBU invite all high school students to build a balsa wood building/crate and test its strength.


Crystal Radio Competition

A crystal radio receiver is a very simple device, popular in the early days of radio. It needs no battery or power source and runs on the power received from radio waves by a long wire antenna. It is named for its most important component, known as a crystal detector, now called a diode.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering challenges you to design, construct and assemble a “crystal radio” using a diode, piezoelectric (ceramic) earphone, cardboard, toilet paper tubes, aluminum foil, glue, tape, metal thumbtacks, wire, coke can and paper.

Sponsored by: Christian Brothers University, School of Engineering