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2012 High School Design Competition: Rock Chalk Renaissance

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 High School Design Logo
High school students from around Kansas and the Kansas City metro area will soon be time travelers -- traveling simultaneously back to a time of castles, warfare and siege, and ahead to a world of colonization on far away planets – all while learning about mechanical and computer technology at an upcoming competition sponsored by the University of Kansas School of Engineering.

The annual 2012 High School Design Competition will take place on Tuesday, November 6, at KU’s Eaton Hall.  This year’s main event, “Rock Chalk Renaissance,” incorporates mechanical and civil engineering components for which teams are required to construct a small mechanical launcher capable of competing in accuracy, speed, and power. 

Working in groups of up to four students (grades 9-12), each team must design and build a self-contained projectile launcher to compete in accuracy, speed, and destruction. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. in thee Eaton Hall Atrium. The competition begins promptly at 9:15 a.m. There will be three events, Defend Your Castle, Accuracy Challenge and Radar Gun. 

Registration is now closed.


Click here for the competition rules. 

For details on the scoring for competition four (presentation),

click here.

Check out the 2011 competition

, Rock Hop Jayhawk, and

the 2010 competition

, Claim the Terrain.

The event will also see the return of the Lego MindStorm competition with the theme “Mars Landing.”  Students are invited to participate in this computer programming competition instead of the mechanical competition.

Lego Mindstorm

compeition rules are available here

. Details on this year's Lego Mindstorm

course are available here

.  An

additional course

for bonus points has been added to the competition.  For more details on how to construct and program your Lego Mindstorm robot, check out the

Lego Mindstorm Manual. 

Lego Mindstorm Course 1


Lego Mindstorm, Course 1.

Here’s a look at the 2011

Lego MindStorm competition.

The High School Design competition is designed to help high school students discover the fun and competitive nature of engineering, with the hope that it sparks interest in the field and opens the door to the opportunities it can bring.

Rock Chalk Renaissance Q & A

Q: Is there a limit to what materials you use?

A: Any materials may be used (wood, PVC, metal, rubberbands, etc.) as long as the launcher complies with the rules and regulations.


Q: Is there a specific launching device teams must build?

A: No. Teams may build any type of launching device that adheres to the rules and regulations.

Q: May schools sign up multiple teams?

A: Yes. Schools may have multiple teams; however, please note that ONE team for ONE launching device may not exceed 4 team members. 


Q: Does your launcher have to stay behind the firing line at all times?

A: Yes.


Q: Can we use adhesives to tape or glue our launcher to the ground?

A: No. Adhesives such as tape, glue, or anything else that has an adhesive residue cannot be used because this could  damage the floor.


Q: Can we alter the hacky sacks?

A: No. You cannot alter the hacky sacks in any way. You must fire the hacky sacks as it is presented to you.

Q. Can my launcher move forward once the competition begins? Can it move backwards?

A: Launchers may not move forward – they must remain behind the marked line throughout the competition (specified in Castle Competition Rules). It is permissible for the launcher to move backward, but teams must be aware that they will have limited space to do so.


Q: Will a team member be able to hold the machine down while it is launching in order to keep it from jumping across the boundary lines?

A: The launcher must be self-sufficient and cannot be touched by team members with the exception of the firing pin after the launcher is in firing position. Please remember that there is no constraint on moving your launcher back farther with the exception of space.

Q: Will the blocks be perfectly cut to their set dimensions?

A: No. The blocks are hand cut and subject to human to error.


Q. What if we run out of hacky sacks before the Defend Your Castle Competition is over?

A. Judges or volunteers will retrieve hacky sacks for both teams to insure they have a steady supply. However, hacky sacks lodged in walls will not be retrieved (as doing so could interfere with the competition).


2012 Competition Final Results

Rock Chalk Renaissance: Overall

1. Maur Hill - Mount Academy

2. Lions 2 (Lawrence High School)

3. LHS 1 (Lawrence High School)

Competition 1: Defend Your Castle

1. Maur Hill - Mount Academy

2. Buffalos (Republic County High School)

3. Beat Your Astronauts (Centre High School)

Competition 2: Accuracy

1. Maur Hill - Mount Academy

2. Lions 2 (Lawrence High School)

3. Lions 124 (Lawrence High School)

Competition 3: Velocity

1. LHS 1 (Lawrence High School)

2. Team Winfield (Winfield High School)

3. MCA Eagles Gamma (Maranatha Christian Academy)

Competition 4: Presentations

1. Team Winfield (Winfield High School)

2. Lions 124 (Lawrence High School)

3. Swaggapults (Olathe Northwest High School)

LEGO Mindstorm Competition: Overall

1. Botaholics (McLouth High School)

2. Ralph (McLouth High School)

3. Jr Blues (Washburn Rural High School)

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