WEEKEND: Challenge to test Sequim students in barge-building
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Sequim Education Foundation Engineering Challenge Poster Contest winner Melissa Gonzalez receives a $100 prize last week from SEF Director Walter Johnson. The Engineering Challenge is set to begin at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The fifth annual Sequim Education Foundation Engineering Challenge is set for 9 a.m. Saturday.

“There are about 120 contestants entered, and the public is invited to come and cheer for their favorites,” said Walter Johnson, foundation director.

The challenge will be at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula at 400 W. Fir St.

The contest, a golf ball barge-building competition, will include contestants from Greywolf and Helen Haller elementary schools, Sequim Middle School and Sequim High School competing in two divisions.

From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Sequim High School Skynet Robotics Club will host a pancake breakfast fundraiser with pancakes, eggs, bacon, coffee and juice for a donation of $7.

Contestants are required to design and build a barge powered by deformed elastic material to carry the greatest possible number of golf balls over a 14.5-foot water course.

Barges may not exceed 18 inches in length and 12 inches in width, and must complete the course.

The lightest-weight boat carrying the most golf balls will win.

Scholarship prizes in the amount of $1,000, $750 and $500 will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners, respectfully, in each division.

The foundation annually sponsors an after-school workshop taught by science teachers Carla Morton and David Hasenpflug to prepare contestants.

Students learn the physical science of designing and building their competition entries, and are given the opportunity to perfect their creations on a trial course.

Memorial award

This year, the foundation is introducing the $100 Violet O'Dell Memorial Award.

O'Dell and her competition partner, Flora Walchenbach, were scholarship winners in the 2010 Popsicle bridge-building contest.

O'Dell died of brain cancer last year at the age of 11.

This year's recipient of the Violet O'Dell Memorial Award will be determined by the judges at the competition Saturday.

“We are looking forward to continuing Violet's legacy by awarding this honor annually to a contestant who shares the spark for learning we saw in her in 2010,” Johnson said.

For more information, visit www.sequimed.org.

Last modified: February 21. 2013 4:00PM
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