Team Qualifying at
CSUF Prelims Takes Third at JPL Invention Final
December 5:: No. 91
A Costa Mesa High School team that qualified at Cal State
Fullerton last month for the finals, took third place Dec.
1 against 19 other schools from throughout Southern California
in the JPL Invention Challenge at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena. Not only that, but the student team, which calls
itself the Evil Ballerinas, did better than the third-place
team in the division consisting of JPL affiliates.
The goal was to build a contraption that could loft tennis
balls into a container several feet away. The tennis balls
had to clear a barrier and, once a launcher was started,
no adjustments could be made. Each team was given 20 tennis
balls, all of which had to be launched within 60 seconds.
The Evil Ballerinas put 13 tennis balls in the container,
while the third-place JPL-division Richard Goldstein team
put in 12.
In fact, in each of the top three places, the students put
one more ball into the container than the JPL teams did:
The first-place La Canada High School team from La Canada
put in 17, while the first-place Don Noon JPL team put in
16. The second-place student team from Frazier Mountain High
School in Lebec put in 15, while the second-place Douglas
Clark team in the JPL division put in 14.
A total of 400 students and JPL people competed in the Challenge,
said Paul MacNeal of JPL, the event organizer.
The preliminaries held Nov. 18 were at two sites: Fullerton,
which has been the site of the competition to qualify for
the finals each of the last seven years, as well a major
promoter of the event through the College of Engineering
and Computer Science, and Manual Arts High School in Los
Angeles. Dozens of teams competed at Fullerton, coming from
as far away as Apple Valley, El Cajon and Lake Elsinore.
The JPL teams have their own qualifying events.
For more information on the JPL Invention Challenge, call
MacNeal at (818) 354-7824.
||Russ Hudson, Public Affairs, 657-278-4007
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