Each month, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students are given the opportunity to compete in an after-school engineering challenge. The goal of the challenge, according to school officials, is to give students an opportunity to experience the work process of engineering a design challenge, and to collaborate with one another to get the job done well, in a different competition than the yearly science fair.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, the February Challenge was to create the tallest tower using graham crackers, royal icing, and candy hearts. Each team of two to three students was given a box and a half of graham crackers, a few cups of icing, two boxes of candy hearts, plastic knives and spoons, and plastic bags to use for piping the icing.
The groups could also earn “bonus” centimeters of height by vertically stacking up to 20 candy hearts, at one centimeter each, to their towers. Remaining hearts could be stacked or used as part of the structure. The group that built the tallest tower in 45 minutes won.
First place went to Galen Mayhew, Kevin Montambault, and Peter Ruimerman(151 cm); second place, a tie between Zach Bresnick and Connor Downing, and Gordon Moore, Eli Hanschka, Russell Shapiro (132 cm); and third place, Thorpe Karabees, Andrew Ruimerman, Willow Wunsch (99 cm).
All members of winning teams accumulate points over the season and are eligible to become grand winners of the challenge at the school year’s end.