174/366: Crushing

As I've mentioned a few times, SteelyKid is part of an Odyssey of the Mind team through her school, working on a problem to build a structure from balsa wood and glue that will hold as much weight as possible. They've been hard at work the last several weeks, and completed a test structure last night, shown here just prior to testing:

SteelyKid's OM team's balsa wood structure, ready for testing. SteelyKid's OM team's balsa wood structure, ready for testing.

This ended up supporting about 53 pounds before it collapsed, which means it could've held up at least one of the team members. Not too shabby. The kids were very fired up for the crushing process, and justly pleased with themselves for the result.

Of course, now we need to make another one just like it, and hope that it holds as well. A process complicated by the fact that I've been the coach assisting with the construction, and I'll be away next week during both of the team's practices, giving a talk at the University of Illinois. And the competition is next Saturday...

More like this

As mentioned last week, SteelyKid is doing Odyssey of the Mind this year, and her team has elected to build a balsa wood structure. The goal for these is to support the maximum possible weight, and the first step of the testing is to put a "crusher board" on top. This is a couple of 18" square…
Back in the fall, a note came home with SteelyKid about an organizational meeting for an Odyssey of the Mind team for her elementary school. My father coached this for several years back in the 80's, and one of my sister's teams went to the World championships (held in Cole Field House at the…
I seem to have fallen into a thing where I take pictures more frequently than I edit and post them. I blame the kids-- SteelyKid got sick on Sunday (her third bout with strep in the last five months), and The Pip has decided to get a jump on Daylight Savings by waking up an hour early every day…
I feel a little bad that I'm doing two photo-of-the-day posts in a row that are just pictures of SteelyKid, but my day today was dominated by a taekwondo tournament down in Duanesburg, SteelyKid's first actual competition. And she got second place: SteelyKid with her silver medal from today's…

This is very cool. Our neighbor was in charge of this competition in one of the schools in our district, and he enjoyed working with kids on this as much or more than teaching in general.
Best of luck to the team in the coming competition.