TYPES OF PROBLEMS
The problems are designed for competition, with scoring components and limitations, or rules to be followed. The long-term problems change every year. They fall into five general categories. These are mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance.
Teams design, build and operate vehicles of various size and with various power sources. Sometimes they drive the vehicles, and sometimes the vehicles perform tasks, such as overcoming obstacles or visiting other “countries” to retrieve artifacts.
Teams make innovative contraptions and incorporate artistic elements into their solutions. They might be asked to write an original musical score to play on a “new” type of instrument, or to build a robot with human characteristics, or to perform tasks using a chain reaction of snapping mousetraps.
The theme of this problem is based on the classical — from literature to architecture to art. Whether it’s writing an additional chapter to Moby Dick or bringing paintings to life, it’s always a terrific learning experience.
Teams design and build structures, using only balsa wood and glue. They test them by supporting and holding as much weight as possible — sometimes more than a thousand pounds! Teams usually present a skit as part of the Style presentation.
In this problem, teams present performances that revolve around a specific theme and incorporate required elements. Past themes include “morphing” objects, animals that express human emotions, and originating folktales.
Primary (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade)
Teams could be asked to incorporate certain elements similar to those in the (5) competitive problems. Every year there is a new challenge and teams will never fail to impress.