Problem Solving

2017 Event Coordinator

Professor Sherry Roses, The College of New Jersey

Note

  • EVERY MEMBER OF THE TEAM MUST HAVE EYE PROTECTION/SAFETY GLASSES/GOGGLES or they will not permitted to participate. Sunglasses are not suitable eye protection!
  • 2017 Competition: Socially Responsible Challenge

Description

The problem solving competition is designed for teams of college students from TEECA affiliated chapters. Prior to the competition, your team will collect and bring with you 2 recycled packages or pieces of packaging. ONE must be a cardboard box no larger than 12” X 24” X 30”.  No other recycled item containing cardboard can be used for your second item.  The other recycled item can be made of a variety of materials including paper, plastic, foil, styrofoam, aluminum and rubber and must fit inside your recycled cardboard box.  If a package has more than one piece of two different materials (like a plastic water bottle and a cap), only one piece can be used as your second recyclable item.  No glass or sharp containers can be used for safety.

Please note:  Safety glasses/goggles/eye protection and writing implements are required of every participant.  Points will be deducted for teams prototyping without eye protection.

Materials and Supplies

Bring the following tools for your toolbox.  You may have ONLY ONE of each tool unless noted.

Xacto/hobby knife and cutting mat Stapler and one stick of staples
Tape measure Ruler
Needle nose pliers Scissors
Coping saw Hacksaw
Triangle Utility Knife
Hammer Desoldering pump
C-clamp (2 allowed) Wire Cutter / stripper
Portable drill and charging base OR portable electric drill Hot or cool melt glue gun and 5 sticks of glue (no rolls of glue permitted)
Drill index Circle template
Extension cord Strip outlet
Combination square OR try square Soldering iron and roll/tube of solder

Team

Team members MUST be members of an affiliated TEECA college or university. Teams may have a max of seven members. The team may not be composed of over 40% graduate students. One team member should be designated as the team leader.

Procedures

  1. All members of a team must be present at the announced location and time for the start of the competition.
  2. Teams will bring their toolbox with only tools from the approved list and their cardboard box with one other approved recycled item.   Containers and toolboxes should be identified with the school name on them.  No substitutions of recycled materials can be made once they are checked in with the judges.
  3. Each team will receive contest details and the problem to be solved specifically for the competition. The solution to the problem must be created using the only the approved tools, 2 recycled items and the materials provided within the established time frame.
  4. Each team will develop a solution to the problem by:
    • Brainstorming the problem and developing a list of possible solutions.
    • Identifying the solution that has the best potential for solving the problem.
    • Preparing a sketch of the device that is part of the selected solution.
    • Constructing the device / mechanism that is part of the selected solution.
    • Testing and evaluating the device that is part of the selected solution.
    • Describing how the device solved the problem.
  5. Each team will work in a designated area. All construction work must be done in the assigned area following all guidelines and time constraints. All appropriate safety procedures must be followed during the construction and testing phases.
  6. Forms for sketches and procedures will be provided and are to be turned-in for evaluation at the end of the contest (yet prior to the demonstration of the device for the judging team).
  7. The solution to the problem, as completed and tested within the time announced for the activity, will be demonstrated for the judging team.
  8. Judges will evaluate the completed device / mechanism, sketches and forms, and will witness a demonstration of the device solving the problem.

Basic Kit

A basic materials kit may provided to each team by the national TEECA contest officials. The contents of the kit may vary by competition or site, usually depending upon the design challenge. The “typical” kit will include items such as:
Ping-pong balls
Golf balls
Popsicle sticks
Mouse traps
Steel washers
Paper clips
On-Site Supplies

The local TEECA Contest Coordinator, depending on the specific challenge, may provide on-site items to each team. Examples of these materials are listed below:

3⁄4” or 1” 12” x 24” foam insulation board
1/4 “ and 3/8” dowel rods (2 each)
Pieces of corrugated board (3-5 each)
Calculator
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Portable drill & drill bits
Masking tape (3/4” or 1” wide roll)
Clear Tape (1/2” or 3⁄4” wide roll) Tape rule
Stapler
Optional: Computer w/ printer
Straight pins
Nails
Thumb tacks
Index cards
Skewers
Contact paper
Balloons
Velcro
String
Soda straws
Pipe cleaners
Bond paper or cardstock (8-10 sheets)
8, 10, or 16 oz cups (5-8 each)
Additional components as appropriate

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