March 26, 2020

Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA

Middle School Students in Grades 4-5 and Grades 6-8

2020 Team Registration is available here.

 

 

2020 Challenge 

By conserving energy, we can reduce air and water pollution, lower our electric bill and create a healthier planet. Your team’s challenge is to create a way of conserving energy in the future. For example, transforming energy from one object to power another or creating a new type of energy to power a city. Create a model of your energy conservation idea out of K’Nex pieces. Be creative! 

Additional Middle School Challenge 

 Teams competing in the grades 6-8 division will also be asked to present a budget of their project. They will need to inventory each K’Nex piece they use and list a price for each piece. They will need to present their inventory and an overall cost of their project. 


Rules
: 

  • A team of four students (maximum) will work together on the project. Teams may not use alternates.
  • Teams may use up to 1400 pieces. Any pieces, as long as they are K’Nex, may be used. 
  • Each project must use at least one motor. 
  • Schools must bring their K’Nex pieces and motors on the day of the competition. 
  • Students will have 2 hours to put together their project at the competition. 
  • No pieces may be brought to the competition already joined. 
  • Each team will need to bring a journal and a blueprint to the competition. 
  • Each team will need to prepare a presentation (max 2 minutes) on their model and how they answered the challenge. Middle school students will also need to present their inventory. 
  • The model is a representation of your idea. Each team will need to create a presentation that describes their idea in more detail. 
  • Projects must fit on a 6-foot long table. 
  • No water or other live objects may be used in the project. 
  • Teams may use background materials but those will not be judged as part of the project. 
  • String and rubber bands may be used. 

Judging Criteria: 

  • Creativity 
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation

Awards: 

  • Awards will be given to top three teams in grades 4-5 and grades 6-8 
  • Additional prizes may be awarded (best blueprint, most creative, etc.)
  • Top team in each division at each regional competition will advance to the state competition being held on Friday, May 19 at Harrisburg University in Harrisburg, PA

Parts of the competition: 

Journal 

  • This should be a diary of the team’s journey from start to finish. 

Blueprint 

  • Can be a photo, drawing, cad drawing, etc. Be creative! 
  • Students may present this on a tablet/ laptop but judges will not award additional points for technology.

Project 

  • Teams may include a backdrop or artwork but judges will not consider this in their scoring. 
  • Must use at least 1 motor.
  • Cannot exceed 1400 pieces.

Presentation 

  • Each presentation will be 2 minutes or less 
  • Students may use a tablet/ laptop but will not be awarded any additional points 
  • Middle school students must also present their inventory and cost – K’Nex Inventory / Cost Sheet 

Awards

  • Awards will be given to top three teams in grades 4-5 and grades 6-8 
  • Additional prizes may be awarded (best blueprint, most creative, etc.)
  •  Top team in each division at each regional competition will advance to the state competition being held in May 2020 in Harrisburg, PA.

Registration Information for the BLaST IU17 Regional Challenge

  • Each school district may register up to two teams for the 4th -5th grade level and/or two teams for the 6th-8th grade level. (Districts are invited to conduct their own local challenge to determine which teams will move on to the regional challenge.)
  • Each teacher/advisor is permitted to register one additional chaperone per team.
  • Registration must be completed separately for each team entered in the Challenge.
  • 2020 Team Registration is available here. Please register by November 22nd, 2019.

 

K’Nex Kits

  • The 2020 kit is the same kit that was used in previous years. If your district participated last year, please plan on using the same kit.
  • Any combination of pieces may be used, as long as they are genuine K’Nex, at least one motor is included, and the number of pieces does not exceed 1,400.
  • All teams must arrive with their own K’Nex kit/pieces—we will not have extras available on the day of the competition.

 

Event Components

Project

  • Teams may include a backdrop or artwork but judges will not consider this in their scoring.
  • Must use at least one motor.
  • Cannot exceed 1,400 pieces. 

Journal/Narrative

  • Describe the process the team used to come up with a solution.
  • What roles did each member have while coming up with the solution?
  • What types of issues arose while working on the project?
  • Did creating a blueprint help with the creation of your model?
  • Did you use any other resources or models to help your team come up with a solution?

Blueprints

  • Blueprints may be a photo, drawing, CAD, etc. Students may present on a tablet/laptop but judges do not award additional points for use of technology.

Presentation

  • Each presentation will be two minutes or less.
  • Students may use a tablet/laptop but will not be awarded any additional points.
  • Middle School students must also present their project budget.

 

Additional Details

Tentative Schedule for the Day

  • 9:00am – 9:30am Registration
  • 9:30am – 9:45am Welcome/Competition Overview
  • 9:45am – 11:45am Student Competition
  • 11:45am – 12:30pm Judging/Project Peer Review
  • 12:30pm – 12:45pm Awards Ceremony
  • 12:45pm – 1:00pm Clean up and Dismiss

There is no set lunch time built into the schedule. Students, teachers, and chaperones are invited to pack a lunch and eat when time permits.

 

Room Setup

Each team will have the use of one assigned 6-foot rectangular table; separate seating areas within the room will be available for any downtime.

 

Guests

Although we’d love to invite all parents/families to attend, space limitations prevent it.

 

Media Clearances

We’d like to take pictures of the event and promote this with local media. Each student must complete a signed Photographic Release Form.

 

Scoring Rubrics

Teams may use these rubrics of the judging criteria while preparing their projects.

Middle School Rubric

Elementary School Rubric

 

Contact Rebecca Gibboney with any questions.