The Diamond Bananas, also known as Ethan Williams, left, Bengimin Ambrosian, Nickolas Ambrosian and Robert Minden of Seward Middle School, prepare their catapult for the Mind A-Mazes challenge at Soldotna Prep School in Soldotna, Alaska on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Their device had to shoot a rubber ball into a wastebasket from different distances. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Diamond Bananas, also known as Ethan Williams, left, Bengimin Ambrosian, Nickolas Ambrosian and Robert Minden of Seward Middle School, prepare their catapult for the Mind A-Mazes challenge at Soldotna Prep School in Soldotna, Alaska on Saturday, October 14, 2017. Their device had to shoot a rubber ball into a wastebasket from different distances. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Crazy catapults at Mind A-Mazes

  • By KAT SORENSEN
  • Sunday, October 15, 2017 8:38pm
  • News

The rules were not simple, in fact there is a whole blog dedicated to the rules for the Mind A-Mazes problem solving competition on Saturday at Soldotna Prep School.

Fifty-one teams from across the peninsula worked for weeks to create “Crazy Catapults,” which required the teams to create a device that would catapult a ball into the target area, a school wastepaper basket.

The yearly challenged is created and held by Quest, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s talented and gifted program and engages students by presenting them with a hands on engineering problem.

The competition tested student’s problem solving skills by asking groups of three to four students to design, construct, calibrate and set off the device with the goal of shooting a hollow, rubber ball into a wastebasket at varying distances. Teams couldn’t spend more than $15 on their devices and the entire device had to fit within the confines of one cubic meter.

“We want to give a big thank you to all the parents, teachers and coaches who helped with everything going in to today,” said Brian Bailey, a Quest teacher at Nikiski Middle-High School who helped organize the event.

Students spent weeks honing their devices and on competition day they travelled to Soldotna Prep to put their creations to the test.

“We have 51 teams registered from around the peninsula,” said Brian Bailey, who helped organize the event. “We have three teams from Hope that managed to get thorugh an accident at Summit Lake and even two teams from Susan B. English in Seldovia.”

The teams from Hope were smart to wait through the traffic, since the Hope School brought home the big prize.

Liam Bureau and his team from Hope School catapulted the competition, sinking baskets as far as 11 feet while the packed gym cheered.

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

More in News

In this Aug. 26, 2020, file photo, U.S. Rep. Don Young, an Alaska Republican, speaks during a ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska. The longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House is appearing in a new round of ads urging Alaskans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Ads featuring Young are being paid for by the Conquer COVID Coalition, Young spokesperson Zack Brown said by email Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
Young urges vaccination in new ads

Young, 88, “believes the vaccines are safe, effective and can help save lives.”

A portable sign on the Sterling Highway advertises a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinaton booster clinic held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
What you need to know about boosters

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility explained

Damage in a corner on the inside of the middle and high school building of Kachemak Selo School Nov. 12, 2019, in Kachemak Selo, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Repair costs rise as school facilities deteriorate

About $420 million worth of maintenance is needed at Kenai Peninsula Borough School District buildings.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell (center) presents Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid (left) with a Life-Saving Award for her efforts in rescuing a child from the Kenai River offshore of North Kenai Beach this summer, during a ceremony held by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Oct. 13, 2021. Reid and Kenai River dipnetter Antoine Aridou (far right) rescued the 12-year-old on July 29, 2021. (Photo provided by the Office of the Governor)
Governor recognizes dipnetter, trooper for summer rescue

Wildlife Trooper Laura Reid received a Life-Saving Award and Antoine Aridou received a Governor’s Commendation.

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Most Read