Each month, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) students have the opportunity to compete in an engineering challenge. The goal of the challenge, according to school officials, is to acquaint students with the work process of engineering a design challenge, and to collaborate with one another to get the job done well. It is a different competition from the yearly science fair.
The students are faced with 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 goal of the February Popcorn Popper Challenge was to use seltzer water cans, a small tea light, string to create extra wicks for the candle, and aluminum foil to create a mini-popcorn popper. Students were given oil and popcorn kernels, and had to preload their poppers. They were then given three minutes to pop as many kernels as possible.
They received one point for each popped kernel, and two points for each popped kernel successfully channeled into a bowl.
The February challenge first place went to James Kelliher, Coltrane Leport, and Brahmin Thurber-Carbone, with 226 points; second place, Evelyn Medeiros, Marissa D’Antonio, and Garrett Zeilinger, with 105 points; and third place, Mitchell Chaves and David Packer, with five points.
Natalie Munn is the leader of the engineering challenge series, with assistance from Elsbeth Todd (art/technology), Dana Munn (science), Michael Lavers (math), and Chris Connors (art/technology).