Welcome to Somerville Mathematics

Welcome to Somerville Mathematics, a blog devoted to exciting mathematical things happening in Somerville MA. I am the founder of The Somerville Mathematics Fund, www.Somervillemathematicsfund.org
The Math Fund was chartered to celebrate and encourage mathematics achievement in Somerville. I hope you will check out my TEDxSomerville talk on the Somerville Math Fund,
I find that there are many other interesting things happening mathematically in Somerville and I hope on this blog to have others share what they are doing. So please contact me at mathfund@gmail.com if you would like to contribute an article.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scrapheap Showdown: Catapult Fest — Fall Fling!

On October 28, 27 high school students on 9 teams gathered in “The Cage” in Cousens Gym at Tufts University to compete in the Somerville Mathematics Fund's 13th annual Scrapheap Showdown.  Instead of just the usual interesting “junk” in the center of the room when the students walked in, there were also piles of foam core.  The students were given their challenge: to design and build a catapult on a base of  homasote  board. The teams worked intensely, designing, building, testing, reinforcing, and adjusting their catapults.
Getting ready to shoot.
Time was called after 3 hours.  Now was the time for the three competitions. The first challenge was to fling a marble contained in a balloon the farthest distance.
First teams to compete are ready to go with "i i on the pi pi"
starting and "Buoy" ready to go.
 Each team had three tries and their longest trial was counted.  The second challenge was “bowling” — throwing for accuracy as many marbles (in balloons) as possible in two minutes at empty water bottles lined up on a table.  This proved the most difficult challenge of the afternoon.

The third challenge was the craziest.  All the teams were at their own table in a circle around a kid’s swimming pool with a bucket in it.  Each team had 10 pingpong balls.  They all shot towards the pool at the same time.  Lots of pingpong balls bouncing all over!  There were points for landing in the pool, with a bonus for landing in the bucket.

Ping pong balls all over after the 3rd challenge.
Teams were ranked in each event, one thru nine, with 1 getting 1 point, etc.  So the winning team had the lowest final score.
1st place "i i on the pi pi"  [Eye on the Pi's/Prize]
The team with the lowest overall score, was “i i on the pi pi” [“eyes” on the pi’s”] (Brian Jian Chan, Luca Duclos-Orsello, Timothy Labounko).

2nd place "Crimson Quackateers"
The second place team was the “Crimson Quackateers” (Owen Chiu, Daniel Correa, Stephen Freitas).
3rd place "Euleroids"
The third place team was the “Euleroids” (Kevin  Arbaiza, Iskandar Nazhar, Myles Rivera).
4th place tie, "Buoys"
There was a tie for fourth place between “Buoys” (Samuel Newman, Tayara Romero, Henry Zou) and the
4th place tie, "Honeybees"
 “Honeybees” (Jackson Anderson, Tristan Brown-Vazquez, Max Nadeau).
"Sugar and Spice"
The other teams competing included the “Sugar and Spice” (Britney Flores, Tatiana Pineda, Nikhilesh)
"Silly Squids"
Silly Squids”  (Alina Kaur, Parveen Kaur, Arlenny Ramierez)

"Andromeda Phenomena"
"Andromeda Phenomena" (Rio Hunter Black, Emily Howley, Isra Khan)

"625" (Nathalya Castillo, Alexa English, Jadrianis Vega)

The teams could choose their prize in the order they finished.    The prizes donated were:  three $100 gift cards (donated by Anne Button), four 2019 Red Sox tickets (donated by Sam Voolich), three $50 RedBones BBQ gift cards, 3 $75 AMC gift cards (donated by Chase Duclos-Orcello) and a combination of Science Museum passes (6 to the Omni Theater, 2 4-D Theater, 2 Butterfly Garden, 2 Planetarium and 4 Exhibit Halls ) donated by Maggie Rabidou.  All competitors and volunteers went home with Scrapheap Showdown teeshirts donated by Gerald and Debra Bickoff of Commercial Cleaning Service.

Nikhilesh Rattan -- The top fund raiser!  
This event was for both fundraising and an intellectual challenge--all funds raised go towards a Somerville Mathematics Fund scholarship for an outstanding Somerville mathematics student.  The winning fundraiser was Nikhilesh Rattan who took home a RedBones BBQ gift card.

Designers & refiners of the challenge were: Sanford Bogage, Anne Button, Chase Duclos-Orsello, Zachary Faubion, Adam Foster, Monica Fernandes, Richard Graf, Jay Landers, Zbigniew Nitecki, Erica Voolich, and Michael Voolich.

Stanhope Framers donated the foam core; and Somerville Home Depot, the homasote.  Michael Morgan and Patricia Murphy-Sheehy, teachers at Somerville High School, recruited student teams.  Michael Voolich designed the T-shirts with the icon use donated by Icons8.com and Yongkang Yu designed the poster advertising the event at the high school.

Sponsors of the event included Math Department at Somerville High School, Winter Hill Bank, RedBones BBQ, Commercial Cleaning Service, Century Bank, Jay Landers & Jasper Lawson, Anne Button, Zbigniew Nitecki and our most wonderful host, Tufts University (check out Alonso Nichols, Tufts photographer's, photos).

Suffolk University Catering provided the refreshments for the teams and volunteers.  Various members of the Board worked on all aspects of organizing the event and worked to make it a success along with community volunteers Clarissa Westney and Ben Perrin.

The link to this page is https://somervillemathematics.blogspot.com/2018/10/scrapheap-showdown-catapult-fest-fall.html
©Erica Dakin Voolich 2018

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