Mission Possible

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

2016-01-07 21:17 Does a toy car rolling down a ramp count as a wheel and axle?

No. A wheel and axle (as a simple machine) requires an input on the wheel or axle and an output on the other end (axle or wheel). A toy car rolling down a ramp does not satisfy the requirements of transferring from one simple machine to another (see rule 3.d).

2016-01-07 21:49 If there is a wheel on a threaded axle that acts as a screw, is this 2 simple machines (wheel and axle to screw) or only one? If it is one, which one is it?

Each simple machine must complete the requirement listed in the rules before the next machine's requirements start to be counted. If this does not happen only one of the simple machines will count for a score as long as it completes its listed requirement.

(section: 3 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-03-28 21:12 What constitutes a Parallel or Dead End Path?

Parallel tasks have no direct relationship to one another and if one of the two tasks fails, the overall sequence of events can still continue or lead to a “dead-end” path. Parallel tasks are not measured in a chronological manner but in a causality manner. That is to say, if one task causes the next task, then they are not parallel. A Dead End Path does not lead to the Final Task.

(section: 3 / paragraph: J / line: J)

2016-01-07 22:05 Must there be a non-scorable simple machine between two scorable transfers?

No, there does not need to be a non-scorable simple machine between two scorable transfers. Scorable transfers are based upon the first simple machine in a transfer. The second simple machine of the first transfer can then become the scored first simple machine of the next transfer.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2015-11-12 15:25 Can there be a release of stored energy between the two simple machines in a transfer or does the output of the first simple machine have to directly drive the input of next one?

Yes, there can be a release of stored energy between the two simple machines in a transfer. No, the output of the first simple machine does not have to directly drive the input of next one.

2015-11-12 15:26 Can the second simple machine in a transfer be the first simple machine in the next transfer?


2016-01-07 22:15 Is a transfer scorable if it is a transfer from one Class of Lever to a different Class of Lever (e.g. Lever 1st Class --> Lever 2nd Class)?

No, you can not have a scorable transfer from one Class Lever to a different Class of Lever. They are classified as the same type of Simple Machine, just different classes. See rule 4.c.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: iii / line: 1)

2016-01-15 22:33 Just want to clarify the "10cm up the inclined plane to count for points," is the 10cm along the inclined plane surface, not the vertical distance between where the lower point the object starts and the higher point where the object ends up.

Yes, an object must travel upward at least 10 cm along the surface of an inclined plane. The 10 cm minimum required distance is not the vertical distance between the lower starting point of the object and the higher point where the object ended.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: iv / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:10 Will a needle popping a balloon (assuming the energy is still transfered to the next simple machine) count as a wedge transfer for points?

No, this will not qualify as a wedge separating two touching objects.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: IV / line: 1)

2016-01-29 20:06 Is it necessary that the separated object travel in perpendicular direction to the direction of the wedge or can it be parallel to the direction of the movement of the wedge?

A wedge as a simple machine functions by converting a force applied to its blunt end into forces perpendicular (normal) to its inclined surfaces.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: v / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:15 To count for points, does the screw itself have to move, or can we have an object move around the threads of a screw?

According to rule 4.d.v., the "screw must complete at least one full rotation..." An object moving around the threads of a stationary screw will not satisfy this requirement.

(section: 4 / paragraph: d / sub-paragraph: vi / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:43 Does both the wheel and axle have to turn one full rotation (360) or can it just be the wheel that turns 360?

The simple machine of a Wheel and Axle is a larger wheel fixed to a smaller axle and a mechanical advantage is gained by the ratio of the difference in their diameters. So if the wheel turns 360 degrees and the axle does not turn 360 degrees, it is not a wheel and axle simple machine because they are not fixed together.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:52 If the final task fails and the bell does not ring on its own can the student ring the bell as per rule 4j to stop time as per rule 4i.

Yes, the student may ring the bell. They will incur a 15 point penalty for a touch and they will not receive the final task points. rule 4.l. Any obvious stalling to gain a time advantage must result in disqualification. Rule 4.j.

(section: 5 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-01-16 13:29 Does Start task count as 1 of 18 transfers?

The completed Start Task - "dropping an unaltered, regulation-sized racquetball into the device to initiate the first action" can not be listed as the first scoreable transfer. The first action (simple machine) initiated by the Start Task may be the initial type of machine in the first scoreable transfer (rule 4.c.1.) and must be listed on a separate line on the TSL. See posted TSL sample on the National website.


(section: 2 / paragraph: a / line: 3)

2016-02-27 11:09 Does the "0.9 m in any dimension" limit go beyond width, depth and height to include all possible diagonal dimensions?

No, "0.9 m in any dimension" refers only to width, depth, and height.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / line: 1)

2016-03-29 11:19 Is it OK for competitors to bring multiple different weight falling masses to choose from, as long as none of them weigh more than 2.00kg.

No, throughout the rules the mass is referred to as singular. Teams may impound only one mass.

(section: 2 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: 1)

2016-03-29 21:02 Is it legal to use lead as part of the weight? We intend to use lead, but we are concerned about it being a hazmat. We intend to keep it completely wrapped in duct tape so that the lead is not exposed, but is it legal?

Please do not use lead. First because it is not a safe material to be working with and second, simply because many, many Event Supervisor just would not allow it. There are a number of safer materials available out there that are close to the density of lead.

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 2)

2016-03-29 20:59 My egg backstop is completely rigid but it is attached to a ETV that has a flexible chassis. Is that allowed?

No. Rigid is defined as "stiff", "hard", "unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible". A flexible chassis is able to bend and therefore can easily absorb the energy of pressure from the egg hitting the wall. The whole purpose of a rigid backstop is to ensure that if the egg hits the terminal barrier with enough force it will break. The purpose of the entire event is to see how close you can get to the wall as fast as possible without breaking the egg. The purpose is not to see how we can circumvent breaking the egg by using essentially a "crumple zone," which is exactly what would happen with a backstop attached to a flexible chassis. The term "rigid" goes beyond just the backstop. You can't maintain rigidity if you attach something that is rigid to something that is not rigid. See rule 2.e.line 6

(section: 2 / paragraph: e / line: 5)

2016-03-29 10:48 This line calls for ...rigid material... to be used. If it meets all other construction parameters, can balsa be used as the rigid material?

Generally, no. Rigid is defined as "stiff", "hard", "unable to bend or be forced out of shape; not flexible". A block of balsa tends to be less dense and can easily absorb the energy of pressure from the egg. Please have an alternative backstop prepared in case your local tournament event supervisor does not consider balsa as a rigid material. This would have to be replaced during the team's 8 minutes.

(section: 2 / paragraph: h / line: 1)

2016-03-29 21:06 Do the wheels of the ETV have to be in contact with the floor in launch configuration? Or can they rest on a thin (not raised) piece of plywood?

Yes, all of the wheels have to be in contact with the floor in the ready to run position. No, they cannot rest on a (thin or thick) piece of plywood. If they were not on the floor in the ready-to-run configuration, they would violate Rule 2.h. upon touching the floor during the run and the team would receive a construction violation.

(section: 2 / paragraph: i / line: 2,3)

2016-03-29 11:33 Must the part of the Scrambler which is to prevent the falling mass from damaging the floor be structurally built into the Scrambler or may it be a separate added piece placed within the device as long as it fits in the size parameters?

It may be a separate piece but when placed within the Scrambler it must fit in the 0.90 size parameter.

(section: 4 / paragraph: j / line: 2)

2016-03-29 21:15 If the contestants break their egg while attaching to the vehicle, or before the first official run, do they get another egg?

A second egg will be provided, the team will be allowed only one run, and a competition violation will be assessed to that run even if the second egg does not break.

(section: 4 / paragraph: k / sub-paragraph: 3 / line: 3)

2016-03-29 11:47 If the egg breaks on the second run, and the first run has no violations, then the first run is in tier one and the second run is in tier 2 correct?

There are no Tiers in Scrambler this year. The runs are scored separately. The better of the two Run Scores is used for the Final Score.

Bridge Building

(section: 3 / paragraph: a / line: 2)

2016-02-27 09:53 Can the Test Support block be anywhere in the loading zone, for example, slightly behind the 35 cm line if necessary?

Per rule 5.b.ii. Teams may place the Test Support in one of the Bearing Zones, it does not need to be exactly on the 35 cm line.

(section: 3 / paragraph: e / sub-paragraph: N/A / line: N/A)

2015-10-29 14:14 Does this mean that the loading block shall be aligned with the centerline of the test base, or is it acceptable for the loading block location to be off to one side as long as it allows for the chain pass through the 20cmx20cm opening of the test?

The loading block is to be aligned with the centerline of the test base which would be the center of the Bridge span when it is placed on the Test Support on one side and the Bearing Zone of the Test Base on the other side.

(section: 3 / paragraph: f / line: 1)

2016-03-02 22:14 Is it legal to have felt marker markings on your bridge as a result of component mass recording and construction assistance lines?

Yes, this is allowed.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-29 14:24 Will the 5 by 5 block be secured to the testing apparatus?

No, the 2 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm block will not be secured to the Test Base.

(section: 5 / paragraph: b / sub-paragraph: i / line: 1)

2015-10-12 20:36 If the bridge is loaded not to failure of the bridge, but rather the test support falls over, how will the bridge be scored (will there be a second try) ?

If the test support falls over, loading will stop and the weight held at that time will be used to calculate the final score. There will not be a second try at testing the bridge.

Elastic Launched Glider

(section: 3 / paragraph: b / line: 3)

2015-11-12 16:04 The rules state that "The functional components MAY be attached to each other using tape, thread or glue. However could the wing or horizontal stabilizer be attached to the fuselage stick by way of a rubber band?

No, rubber bands are specifically not allowed to attach the wing or stabilizer to the fuselage for safety. The wing or stabilizer could become separated from the fuselage during launch.

(section: 4 / paragraph: c / line: 1, 2)

2016-03-02 12:27 If the students are registering 2 gliders or planes, does each glider or plane need its own flight log?

No, each glider or plane does not require its own flight log. The purpose of a flight log is to keep a continuous record of all flights of the gliders or planes you have built and tested.

(section: 4 / paragraph: l / line: 3-5)

2016-01-15 21:28 Does the flight time stop when the glider touches a light or AC fixture or brushes against a wall since, it technically stops for a brief moment and then continues flight, or is it just if it perches on a fixture?

No, the flight time only stops when the glider is no longer supporting its own weight. This can include landing on the floor or getting hung up on any sort of obstacle. Simply touching something does not stop flight time.

(section: 5 / paragraph: d / line: 1)

2016-02-09 20:47 Is not having flight logs 30% deduction in score only or 30% deduction and tier/ranking issue?

Not having a flight log is only a 30% deduction in score, it does not effect the tier.