(This problem is adapted from Make Learning Fun! by
Dr. C. Samuel Micklus.)
- JUDGE READS TO TEAMS:
- You will have 10 minutes to complete this problem.
- You are to build a structure of toothpicks and clay that will sit on a table behind a boundary line. The structure will cantilever, or stick out, as far as possible beyond the boundary line without touching the table surface.
- You may work anywhere you wish. You may also talk.
- You may break the toothpicks into smaller pieces if you wish.
- If your structure touches the table surface, you must break it off until it is cantilevered.
- The structure will be measured after the 10 minute construction period. The distance cantilevered will determine your score.
- You will be given 50 toothpicks and a piece of clay. The clay will be used to make the joints for your structure.
- The team must rest the structure on the table behind the boundary line. You may not press down so that the clay adheres to the table to support the cantilever.
- Scoring will be as follows:
You will score one point for each 1/4" the structure extends beyond the boundary line without touching the surface. The end of the cantilever must be above the yardstick when the judge takes the final measurement.
- FOR JUDGES ONLY:
- Give each team 50 toothpicks and an equal amount of clay. OM recommends Plast-I-Clay by Amoco, or Crayola's Claytime Clay. (The latter is more expensive.) These are available at Toys "R" Us and other stores. If Plast-I-Clay is used, give each team a 1" x 1" x 1" piece or the equivalent.
- You need a table on which a boundary line is taped across the top and a yardstick.
- Teams may use their unused clay as a counterweight.
- Be sure to end at 10 minutes.