PUHI — Hanalei School student Addison Murphy buried her face in her hands Saturday as her team’s “mystery architecture” tower swayed under the weight of a tennis ball.
Her partner Hannah Gardner stepped back and cradled her face in her hands in anticipation as the structure wobbled, swayed, and finally collapsed under the weight of the ball, while the stopwatch ticked off the 10-second period.
“The goal of mystery architecture is to take the ingredients of a package and create the tallest tower that will support a tennis ball,” said Ryan Girard, director of the Fourth annual Kauai Elementary Science Olympiad presented by the Hawaii State Science Olympiad and hosted by Kauai Community College.
During the olympiad, hosted by Kauai Community College, five student teams representing four participating schools — Wilcox, Island, St. Catherine and Hanalei — worked through nine different task stations, including mystery architecture, to collect points.
“We don’t know if we won,” said Timothy Kozak of the Wilcox School No. 1 team, as his partner Johnray Salud and his mystery architecture soared past the four-foot mark and was rock-steady under the weight of the tennis ball, while tournament officials Blaise Boyle and Jennifer Ingersol ticked off the 10-second period. “We just have to keep going, and wait until the awards to find out if we won.”
Other tasks included barge building, a mousetrap vehicle, weather or not, bone and brawn, the Campanelle catwalk, bottle rockets, describe it, build it, and mystery powders. The tasks were attacked by 44 students from the participating schools, shephered by a corps of more than 40 adult event supervisors, volunteers and support staff.
“Our bridge is inspired by the Hanalei bridge,” said Ken Wray, one of four coaches of the Hanalei School team, which entered the competition for the first time. “This is truly a team effort.”
A crowd of team participants, parents and coaches huddled around the weight structure constructed to measure the effectiveness of the Campanelle catwalk, where the Hanalei team of River DeBonet and Josh Bishop worked to secure their bling-studded (from the abundance of glue) bridge to the bucket where cat litter would fall. The goal is to see which structure created from dried pasta held the most litter before failing.
“It survived,” said Kalae Sahut of the Wilcox School No. 1 team, handing over his raw egg that landed intact after a ride aboard a bottle rocket.
Earlier, Sahut fiddled with the door to the payload section of his rocket, improvising an opening to accommodate the raw egg, while his partner Brycen Kawamura filled the second rocket with water propellant.
Under the direction of Natsumi Yamasato, the Wilcox Elementary No. 1 team topped the field, challenged by the Wilcox Elementary No. 2 team coached by Shelley Gandeza.
Chelsea Chock coached the St. Catherine School team to a No. 3 finish, followed by Cristy Peeren guiding the Island School team, and Adrianne Kimber coaching the Hanalei School team of third-grade students to its No. 5 finish.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island