Each month, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students are given the opportunity to compete in an 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.
The students are issued a design challenge at the meet. Working in teams of two or three, they have 45 minutes to complete the task. Then the designs are evaluated to determine the meet winners.
The October challenge was to create a lockbox with the most locks or latches to hold a package of M&Ms. They were given cardboard, string, paperclips, wooden sticks, and rubber bands. Latches that were tied or tape-based were not allowed. The students had to use at least three different types of latches that were also re-latchable.
First place went to Eli Hanschka, Tim Roberts, and Russell Shapiro (48 latches); second place to Kevin Montambault, Peter Ruimerman, and Willow Wunsch (40 latches); and third place to Maddy Moore, Charlie Morano, and Ellie Reagan (38 latches).
All members of winning teams accumulate points over the season and are eligible to become grand winners of the challenge at the end of the school year.