The Winning Classrooms Have Been Chosen! Thanks to all the great classroom entries that we received for this year's Classroom Challenge. Because of our excellent application in the classroom, the 2012 K'NEXpert Classroom Challenge was a great success in classes across the country.
Congratulations to the winning classrooms listed below!
Nichols World School — Grade 1
Teacher: Tom Nichols
Category: Mouse Trap Madness
Walk on four feet
Like to eat cheese and smell food
Good hearing, vision, smell
Byhalia Elementary — 2nd Grade
Teacher: Chequita Phillips
Category: Mouse Trap Madness
Description: The town that we live in is infested with mice. Wherever we go there are mice all around us in this town. One morning when we open the cabinet to get cereal, I saw mice instead. Wow," we screaming so loud that people all over the town could hear us! Everyone in the town complained about the mice. But no one knew how to get rid of them. The next day the people in the town met a team of people that knew what to do; they learned what to do in the Vietnam War. The team in the town started coming up with a plan to catch the mice that afternoon.
Finally, the town came up with a plan on how to catch the mice. We all went to the mayor of the town. First we told the mayor of the town that we would catch the mice. If he would take it to a safe place in the country and let it run freely. He said, "Yes" and we came up with a plan to catch the mice. The team started with several steps to building a mousetrap for them.
Although we knew that using rat poison was the easiest way to get rid of mice. This would be too dangerous for the mice and our health. The next thing we decide was to think about what the mice would eat to get it to the trap. First, thing we knew was that a mouse's noses were sensitive. We thought about what would lead it to the trap. The team knew that mice loved all kinds of food, seeds, roots, nuts, berries and insects. Wild mice will eat anything they that can get their little choppers on, so we decide to use cheese and peanut butter with nuts to lead it to the trap.
Before we went out to catch the mouse we had to building our trap. We filled the mouse holes with spackle. We knew that mice loved to run around after each other. So we have to build the trap were the mouse would not be able to get out of the trap. The team came up with a conclusion to put a line of cheese to get the mice to going toward the trap. After that the team chose to build the mousetrap 6 .5 'L x 4 "x 4.5 "W. This would allow the mice to move around in the cage. First, we build the base and then the side to keep it sturdy. On the top we used K'NEX that leaving small sections in between for air for the mice. Then, we set the trap around 6 to 10 feet apart since they tend to travel very short distances. At this point, we are ready to set the cheese in a line that leads them straight to the mousetrap. Now, the door to the case is open and the peanut butter with nuts set in the back corner of the cage. Finally the cage is ready and everyone is watching for the mice to eat the cheese. Then we watched to see if the mouse were come near the trap. Finally the mice are eating the cheese and moving toward the cage. The mice run toward the food and the cage door close up with the motion of the mice enter the cage. The mice are now in the cage and the team takes it to the country with the mayor to let them run freely!
The one of the team members pick up the cage and everyone walks toward the field. In the country there is a meadow of open grass and land. We have already planted nuts and berries in this field. It is harvest time in our town and the fields are ready. In order to keep the mouse from returning we took it 2 to 3 miles from the building. We found some low ground cover for the mice. This would shelter the mice from predators until they could build their own proper nest. Before we set the mice free we put nuts and berries all around the back of the field. We hide the food where larger animals can't reach it. Dropped it into the sheltering pile of rocks or sticks that way it prevents birds and squirrels from eating the food. The mouse will come back to collect and hide it for later consumption. We set the cage in the middle of the field. The team member that put the cage in the middle open the door up enough for the mice to see the outside and out run the mice. The mice are free in the nice home in the country.
Central Park School for Children — 3rd Grade
Teacher: Judy Compton
Category: Souped Up Cars
Cost Sheet Page 1 Cost Sheet Page 2
Description: Before we built Twister, we researched how far a Hot Wheels car goes at the bottom of a ramp at different angles. The lower the ramp the farther the car goes. Next we used a lump of clay to double the weight of the car. Much to our surprise the lighter car went farther.
When we built our car we decided to make our car a tractor trailer because we thought if the weight was in the back of the car it would propel the car forward. The trailer had hinges connecting it to the main car.
When we tested Twister it stopped about 3 feet from the ramp. The middle wheels flipped up, and it basically turned into a six wheeled pyramid. We decided to take off the trailer.
After we rebuilt TWISTER we tested it on a three foot ramp with an 18.8 ounce can of soup can on top. We also did it without the soup can.
We think that the lighter the car, the farther it goes, and if the ramp is too high it goes BAM!!!!!!
Our car used 233 pieces and cost $10,707.00. We all think this was very fun!!!!!!
Waterville Community Elementary School — 4th Grade
Teacher: Aaron Thrasher
Category: Souped Up Cars
Description: To determine how we would design and build our vehicle, we looked at a K'NEX instruction book and gathered some ideas. We went to a room and tested our car to see what we needed to modify. The first test didn't go so well – the soup can actually drug the ground! After the first test, we had to modify the vehicle a lot!
We tried our car with and without the soup can. The soup can did not make much difference. It was mostly the car. There was an average of 6 inches in the difference between traveling with the can and without it. The first time, we tested with the can was in the car. The first run, our car drove 30'4".on the second run, it dove 30'7.5". Although, without the can, the first time it drove 31'4.5". On the second run, it traveled 31'7". The car preformed well.
Our vehicle preformed well because the axles were attached to the wheels. This allowed for the wheels and axle to travel at the same speed. We also built a cage around the soup can. This cage held the soup can in place while in vehicle was in motion. We made the vehicle as aerodynamic as possible in order for the go faster and travel farther. This is why our team feels our vehicle performed really well.
St. Ann, Bartlett — 5th Grade
Teacher: Jane Gillespie
Category: Swing Ride CEO
Description: We did research to determine how we would design and build our swing.
Online our class looked up pictures of swings at Amusement Parks and the KNEX website swing rides too. We printed the price sheet off the K'nex website to use with our DATA chart. We also used Google. We looked at a Kaleidoscope Kids book, Bridges ,for building ideas and looked up the definition of swings.
We have past knowledge of building with KNEX with last year's project building the tower. An engineer gave us tips for building a tower last year and we used those tips this year to build a swing. We used Lego people to know a good swing size. For balance we made the swings and tower support symmetrical. We made three different towers and then combined them into one. This is the support around the moving rod in the center to keep it from moving back and forth. White connectors and rods around the moving center kept it steady. We balanced each side with the swings and pieces used. We worked on keeping it at a low price and low weight so the motor would keep the swings moving round and round. We revised the swings to lessen the weight by removing white rods on the back of each one. After three different cranks that slipped or was not strong enough, we used a KNEX motor. The motor was the best with the weight of the top of 20 swings. The porch under the swing was lowered to be closer to the ground. Steps were added for getting on and off.
Glenfield Middle School — 6th Grade
Category: Swing Ride CEO
Description: Our ride is a thrill swing ride named the Cubinator. It is built with a total of twenty-four cubes. Each of the two towers consists of eight cubes and there are four additional cubes supporting the prism of cubes, the swinging cube. The swinging cube is made with four cubes that hold twenty sings. The Cubinator has more than one level. If riders want to feel more secure, they should sit in the top two levels. But, if the riders want a thrill, they should sit in the bottom level to get whipped. Our ride also starts slow and increases in speed. The direction can be changed by the switch operator.
Before we designed the Cubinator, our class brainstormed ideas. We voted on our favorite ideas and narrowed them down to a ride that would be geometrically based. We researched how to build sturdy structures and realized that our swing ride should be symmetric and use sturdy triangles, cubes, and other rectangular prisms. We also compared the swing rides that amusement parks use today and in the past. We thought that our ride should look completely different. We wanted it to be new, yet fun and sturdy.
We were asked to calculate the cost of our swing ride. Our ride has 1,470 K'nex parts and pieces. We even included K'nex micro pieces which made building even more fun. We made the attached chart to show our pricing. Using the K'nex pricing chart, our total cost was $76,598.
We were also asked to calculate how much money we would collect in an 8 hour day with on average 80% of the swings full during 12 rides per hour. We know that on average 80% of the 20 swings were occupied. Eighty percent is equivalent to four–fifths. One-fifth of 20 is 4 and 4 times 4 is 16. We're charging each customer $2.50 to ride. We know that $2.50 times 10 is $25 and that half of $25 is $12.50. The sum of $25 and $12.50 is $37.50 plus $2.50 for another customer. So, that allows us to collect on average $40 per hour with 16 seats full. There are 12 rides per hour which means there are 8 times 12 (96 rides) in an 8 hour day. If we collect $40 per ride and there are about 96 rides per day with on average 80% of the ride full, then we'll collect on average 96 times $40, $3,840 per day.
Finally, we were asked to calculate how many days that it would take to pay for our ride which operates 8 hours per day with 12 rides per hour that are on average 80% full. Since our ride costs $76,598, we took that total cost and divided it by the amount that would on average collect per day, $3,840. $76,598 divided by $3,840 per day is about 19.95 days which is about 20 days. If we collect on average $3,840 per day and our ride costs $76,598, it will take about 20 days to pay for our ride.
K'NEXpert Classroom Prizing:
$350 Shopping Spree in 2012 on K'NEX Education Building Sets at www.knexeducation.com
FREE age-appropriate K'NEX building set for each child in the winning classroom ($20.00 value)
2012 K'NEXpert Classroom Challenge Plaque with photo of winning model and class.
Classroom photo gallery page on knexeducation.com, where we will display pictures of the winning classroom students with their model.