This past October Western Wayne High School science students participated in the WAHS Engineering Competition held at Wallenpaupack Area High School and hosted by the WAHS Technology Club Kiley and Associates.
It was a one-day engineering and design contest for local high schools. Teams were presented with a challenge at the start of the event. This year’s challenge was to make a marble move from one end of a board to the other in a certain timeframe. The marble had to move from one corner of the space to the other and couldn’t go off of it.
Students were given specific materials to use for the challenge which included: pipe cleaners, tape, uncooked pasta, rope, chain, silly puddy, wood blocks, etc.
Two groups of Western Wayne High Schoolers participated and competed against groups of students from other local schools. One of the Western Wayne groups won the award for the Most Ingenious Use of Materials. This winning group included: Makayla Walton, Julia Wehrmann, Colette Schmitt, Kallie Wehrmann, and Lia Hartman. A second group of Western Wayne students also participated and had a great learning experience: Anita Vanyo, Stephanie Mildner, Sean Owens, Jacob Dietrich, and Jacob Schott.
Lia Hartman, Western Wayne junior, who plans to attend medical school and study pathology in the future, explained how her group used their materials “ingeniously” for the challenge.
“Instead of having it all one dimension, we created a wall and along the wall funnels to slow down the marble,” she explained. ‘We also included a maze at the bottom of our project.”
All of Lia’s teammates were excited to be recognized for their work in the competition.
“I thought I was going to feel a lot more pressure,” Makayla Walton, a Western Wayne junior who wishes to attend a four-year college after graduation to study psychology and also wants to pursue a doctorate in the same field, said. “But I realized that everyone had the same task to accomplish and that we needed to have confidence in ourselves and each other.”
Another one of their teammates, Julia Wehrmann, a Western Wayne junior, who would like to study science and medicine after graduation, explained how she learned a lot about adapting to unexpected situations from the competition.
“When we practiced ahead of time for the event, we didn’t know exactly how difficult it would be,” she explained. “At the actual competition, the scenario was harder than we anticipated, and we had to work together to meet the challenge.”
All of the Western Wayne students who attended the event felt like they learned a lot and those who are not seniors look forward to participating in the competition again next year.