Science Competition

February 21, 2014 - Students in Grades 5-8

Motivating students to stretch the capacity of their unlimited imaginations, Orlando Science Center challenges students to transform ordinary and found objects into a kinetic system. Awards will be given based on problem-solving, best use of science and mechanical innovation.

Best in Fair winners receive a $500 prize for their school and a trophy! Prizes of $250 are also awarded to Best use of Science and Most Innovative, and to the winning school’s sponsoring teacher.


Curtis Kinetic Science Competition 2014 Information

Registration Deadline: February 6, 2015
Set-up: February 20-21, 2015
Judging and Awards Ceremony: February 21, 2015

More info and Registration Form coming soon!


Students brought out their inner Wayne Szalinski at the 2014 Kinetic Challenge! Szalinski, of course, was the eccentric inventor from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” who built Rube Goldberg-inspired contraptions.

While these fifth through eighth graders weren’t creating shrink rays, they were transforming ordinary and found objects into artistic kinetic sculptures. Prizes including $500 for Best in Fair! Congratulations to our winners!

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Keeping things simple would be counter-productive in this competition!

The 2013 Kinetic Challenge took place Saturday, Feb. 16 as 40 teams comprised of 5th–8th graders competed for prizes including $500 for Best in Fair!

Participants transformed ordinary and found objects into an artistic kinetic sculpture, also called a Rube Goldberg machine.

Congratulations to our winners!

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Congratulations to this year's Kinetic Challenge winners:

Division 1
Most Artistic: Cycle Scientists from Rock Lake Middle School (Grade 8)
Sculpture - Under the Sea

Kaila Biberstein
Aliyyah Dewji
Ashley Garcia
Sarah Mellenberndt
Emily Henry
Lindsey Spalding - Teacher

Most Scientific: Xtreme Team from Rock Lake Middle School (Grade 8)
Sculpture - Water Popper Fiesta

Ally Pickering
Austin Oubre
Lindsey Spalding - Teacher

Best in Fair: T-JAM from Rock Lake Middle School (Grade 8)
Sculpture - When Landforms and Plate Tectonics CONVERGE

Judianne Vista
Asmita Pasule
Lindsey Spalding - Teacher


Division 2
Most Artistic: Fantastic Four from Umatilla Elementary (Grade 5)
Sculpture - Light it Up!

Hannah Carpenter
Lauren Snavely
Courtney Metroka
Tristen Thompsn
Carol Caldwell - Teacher

Most Scientific: Marine Parteez Animalz from Lake Montessori & Learning Institute (Grades 5- 8)
Sculpture - Crude Awakening

Emilie Palmer
Emaad Syad
Fraaz Syed
Alex Sainz
Katrina Palmer - Teacher

Best in Fair: GSCS #1 from Good Sheperd Catholic School (Grade 8)
Sculpture - Kinetic Junkyard


Casey Hansen
Jack Hotaling
Collin Hartman
Sebastian Restrepo
Stephen Faber
Luca O'Brien
Sharlene Martin - Teacher

Here's a video from the event.  For more videos from Kinetic Challenge, be sure to check out our YouTube page!

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Kids Compete with Quirky Creations

Kinetic Challenge Inspires Student Teams

The Orlando Science Center hosted the Kinetic Challenge on Saturday, February 18, 2012 - a science competition geared toward 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders in eight Central Florida counties. Kinetic Challenge allows students to use their creativity and science knowledge to win money for their science class or club.

Projects at the Kinetic Challenge resemble those made famous by American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. Machines are assembled using household, store-bought and found items and are designed to perform a simple task in complex fashion. By utilizing kinetic energy, a single action sets events in motion that result in a domino effect.

Past projects included a Barbie in a hamster wheel that generated electricity and a toy car used to raise an American flag. The competition fosters teamwork and hands-on learning while motivating students to stretch the capacity of their imaginations by transforming ordinary and found objects into a kinetic sculpture. Kinetic Challenge focuses on Florida Sunshine State Standards for Science including energy, force and motion, and the nature of science. The event is sponsored by the Stephen H. Goldman Foundation, Inc.

Awards were given based on the complexity of motion, best use of found materials, mechanical innovation and artistic expression. Best in Fair winners received a $500 prize for their school and a trophy. Prizes of $250 were also awarded to Most Artistic and Most Scientific and to the winning school’s sponsoring teacher. The competition was open to student teams from schools that resided in Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole or Volusia counties.

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Fourteen teams comprised of 64 kids from grades 5th – 9th came to show off their  innovative displays during the annual Kinetic Challenge on February 12. Projects like the “Very Complicated Toaster” and the “Frosty Eruption” lined the Science Center Clubhouse as judges reviewed the entries.

Students in grades 5th to 9th were asked to create unusual sculptures and wacky inventions using combinations of movable parts, everyday objects, and independent sources of energy. Teams used objects found, donated, or purchased for less than $100 dollars in the engineering and construction of their sculptures. The competition requirements incorporate the Florida Sunshine State Standards for Science. The Orlando Science Center Kinetic Challenge is presented by The Stephen H. Goldman Foundation, Inc.

Best in Fair for the Senior Division was awarded to The Mind Flexors from St. Mary Magdalen with their “Smarticle Particle Math Machine.” Traveling through obstacles and pathways, the final reveal in this creative project was a banner with the message “Math is Cool.”

Best in Fair in the Junior division was awarded to The Neon Blue Boys from Hillcrest Elementary with their “Sock-O's Food Chain Reaction.” This team had animal well-being in mind with their project designed to send a marble down a ramp to push a cup of food over to feed a fish below.

Each Best in Fair winner received a $500 prize for their school, and all other award winners received $250. Other award categories included Most Artistic and Most Scientific for both the junior and senior divisions. The Teacher Award went to both Debbie Gordon of St. Mary Magdalen and Heather Teager of Hillcrest Elementary.


For more photos from the competition, click here



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