Michael J. Allen

Class of 2018 - 2019

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Invention Challenge 1

2016 - 2017




Theo and Gavin


From the makers:

First, we made a classic 4- wheel car and tested that out. It did pretty good. 17 feet and around that. Then, we watched other people test and pinpointed the best cars and followed those designs. The best one we saw was 6 wheels, so we did that. We tested and got 24’10! But we realized the car to be to wiggly and flexible, so I put a brace on it­ –even worse. So we realized flexibility is definitely good. Then, when we had to do the weight challenge we realized the weight did not help in any way. The top 3 theories we came up with are as follows:

1.   Our car should be very flexible and bendy.

2.   The weight and streamlining need to be in the goldilocks zone

3.   Our car should be aerodynamic.



Best distance: 44' 

Competition status: Gold medal winner





Rosalie and Sophie


Note from designers:

    The Caterpillar is our car. We chose the name Caterpillar because of its long caterpillar like body recently we have been hitting 24ft and up. We used to have steering problems but we found a solution. Our vehicle is long and skinny. When we tested the caterpillar with the wooden blocks it had more momentum to hit the wall faster and harder. We went through a lot of car but then decided on the Caterpillar.

·       We think that the wooden block will help us in the first round because the wooden block pushed it more.  

·       We also think that the size of the car should match the size of the wheels.

By the records we think that The Caterpillar will do pretty good in the competitions if we get to the second round.



Best distance: 37' 9"

Competition status: Silver medal winner



Tube o lube


Vann and Nick


From the makers:


“We use chemicals to make our car faster.”


When we started our name was “Indestructible”.  It was originally get only 7 to 10 feet but we kept on improving and we got over 18ft. We called our vehicle 'Indestructible' because when we were testing our car, Vann decided to crush the vehicle.  We fixed the car to the original model again… But then I crushed it. So we gave up on that model, then we made the model we have used since we crushed the old one. We got over 19ft with the new model. Then Vann bought something named Tube-O-Lube, Also known as Graphite. The graphite made us get 24’10 over 10 times, this was a huge improvement. So we decided we would make our vehicle be named Tube-O-Lube. Someone got a “copy off” brand of Tube-O-Lube because they saw our car improving.



1: We thought the graphite would help because we knew it was meant to lubricate axels and cut down friction.

 2:  We started with no weight added to the back, and then we added a wooden block Mr. Allen gave the whole class for a test. It helped hit 24’10 more frequently.

3: Me and Vann decided that my launching was better than his. Because when he launched our car it steered off into infinity, but my launching skills were way more efficient than Vann’s so now I only launch the car.












Best distance: 37' 2"

Competition status: Bronze medal winner



The Sphynx



Dakota and Coral

The Sphynx

       The Sphynx is an amazing vehicle that has a record of 36.6 feet! The Sphynx started off with a completely different design. At first, we had a bendy K'Nex that looked super cool in the front, but we figured out that it didn’t have a good design, or good speed. Our current design for The Sphynx is basically just a rectangle with large wheels and studs to hold the wheels in place. A sphynx is a cat with no fur. We named our racecar The Sphynx because our cart does not have much flare. We have tested The Sphynx over 20 times and we discovered that the block of added weight helps The Sphynx go faster. We love The Sphynx!


The Sphynx

We think that the three most important factors for The Sphynx is are the wheel size, the design, and the block.

The wheel size is very important because we have tested small wheels and medium wheels in the past and the big wheels have worked the best. The small and medium wheels slowed The Sphynx down.

The design of The Sphynx is also very important. We built The Sphynx in a sturdy way so that it won’t have much of a steering problem, or so it won’t flip over.

The block is a major part of the Sphynx. The weight helps it move faster.


Best distance: 37' 9"

Competition status: Fourth place



100 Pi


Andre and

From the makers: 

The Saga of 100 Pie

We chose 100 pie because it got 24`10 11 times in a row. It has small wheels in the front and medium sized wheels in the back. We decided to apply hob-e-lube all over the wheels. The hob-e-lube has been offensively called a rip off from tube-o-lube by someone ahem, ahem. 100 Pie has been very successful getting a record distance of 29`11. We named it 100 Pie because one of the people in our group is obsessed with pie. We hope the best for 100 Pie!


We think that these are the 3 most important factors:


·         Weight, and therefore the amount of friction that is created, either making the car faster or slower.

·         Amount of balance, because it could create steering problems and then shorten the distance the car would travel.

Number of wheels, which could create friction - 4



Best distance: 36' 1" NEW WORLD RECORD

Competition status: Quarter finalist





Stella and Neha


From the makers:



Best distance: 32'(2nd best distance of all-time!)

Competition status: Quarter finalist.



The Heir


Sam and Conor

From the makers:

At first, there were two cars: The heir, and the SHIP. The heir had all six wheels at first, and didn’t get very good scores… While the SHIP, we took a different approach. We covered it in knex, and put an arrow like at the front, hoping we would get 24ft 10. They both took many types and forms, and the Heir even reached 23 feet! It was a hard thing to do, and we never really got that good until the final time…

The showdown between the two cars. It was Ship versus the Heir. The ship got 20ft 4, a close match, but finally. FINALLY the heir got 24ft 10, ending our quest. Now, we wait for our final match with the Chicken. We can put weight, we can add speed, and we will win this together. Now that is done, let’s talk about each Major phase for ship and heir.

Ship: part 1. Design was a very simple car, wheels in the front and back, and a bit of friction.

Ship: Part 2. Covered in knex, we thought we should add weight, thus giving the extra bounce for 24ft 10.

Ship: Final design: With Massive wheels for the back, and non- rubberized wheels for the front, it was a very durable car. The problem was it had a TON of friction, thus knocking it out of the race.

Heir:  part 1: design was 4 wheels, two separated at the back, while the others connected at the front. This was a very weird design, but it got us going to a good start.

Heir: Part two: Made it extremely long, and with a maximum of six wheels. This was the legend that got 23ft, and set our spirits to get ready for the competition ahead.

Heir: Final design, using for competition: It had a big handle in the middle, with a basic car design. It has no friction, with big wheels in the back, and small wheels in the front.

Now onto our personal theory’s and our educated guesses.

·         Conor’s perspective.

·         My hypothesis is that the Heir will go farther because there is less friction on the heir, and it was definitely minimized when we got 24ft 10.

·         The wheels are good, because the bigger the wheels, the faster it goes. Not only that, but our car is slanted with the ramp, so it will help get momentum.

·         With less friction, the car goes farther and faster. Less friction the better, as I always say!

Sam’s Theories.

·         Personally I think that it is good that we added the handle, the more weight the better I say! Not only that, it makes it super mobile!

·         I took away a lot of friction, and that helped a lot. We didn’t use the block because it screwed up the design a bit, thus slowing it down.

·         I’d like to end this by saying that with the low amount of friction, the right size of wheels, and a little bit of luck, we can win this.


Best distance: 24' 10"

Competition status: Quarter finalist



Purple Taco


Sarah and Gabriela

From The Makers:

History and Review

          Our vehicle started as the Small Flame. We immediately didn’t have one of the top vehicles. It was a small, rickety little vehicle, and mostly had colors like red, orange, and yellow. Eventually, we graduated from that vehicle.

Our next vehicle was called the Flame. It was our best vehicle. I liked its little front attachment. With it, we made the Flame go way faster. Our high score with the Flame was 22 feet. That was our best score. Then one day, we forgot to put our beloved Flame in our bucket. That was the last day we saw the Flame.

           Now, our vehicle is called the Purple Taco. (It was named by Sarah.) Its high score is 13 feet, but it’s actually not our worst score. Unfortunately, our official distance is 11’10.  That is our history of the Purple Taco.



The theories for the Purple Taco are;

·       Weight in the back.

·       Small

·       Sturdy

·       Five wheels

          We think these are important theories because, if there is weight in the back, we figured out it goes faster. Without weight, we went way

less than we are now. We think that having a small vehicle is important because, if the vehicle is small, it is more lightweight and therefor goes farther. Sturdy is important because, if the vehicle is flexible, than it could be off balance and it could slow down. Finally, if the Purple Taco has five wheels, than we think it goes faster.



Best distance: 25' 6"

Competition status: Quarter finalist




Black Wolf


Avery and Roan


From the makers:

History of Black Wolf

First Black Wolf had 3 axles with 2 wheels on each axle. Then we took off 1 axle so it was like a car. Next we made it into a tricycle. Then we used 4 little wheels and that didn’t work out. Then we remembered that the best vehicle was our first design so we did something like our first design, we put 3 axles with 2 wheels on the front and back and 1 wheel in the middle. That is now our design.


·       I think that it is important to have the right amount of weight in because too much weight can cause friction but enough weight can make it go faster.

·       I think that it is also important to place the weight in the right place so it doesn’t have steering issues.

·       I think that balance is also important because without balance it will fall over.


Best distance: 20'

Competition status: First round




The Chicken


Maggie and

Our car is called the Chicken. Our car has lately not been so well. Before our car was very good at hitting the wall. We noticed some things that were not good for the chicken. It had a steering problem and we tried to fix it and now it does not have steering but it does not go as far as it used to. We also noticed that extra weight is bad for the chicken.  It caused one of the K’Nex to fall off and that caused a major steering problem. Hope you root for the Chicken.

1)  We think the first important factor is the amount and size of wheels you put on the car.

2)  We think the amount of weight you put on is also important. You do not want your car to be too heavy or too light.

3)  We also think sturdy axles that do not pop off are important.

4)  Friction is very bad. It causes your car to slow down.


Cheer (in the rhythm of the chicken dance)

I want to be a chicken

I don’t want to be a duck

So I shake my butt

Bum, bum, bum, bum

I don’t be a duck

I just want to be a chicken

So I sing this song

Bum, bum, bum, bum



Best distance: 23'

Competition status: First round



Best Distances Awards

Flash (2015 - 2016)

Best distance: 44' 9" NEW WORLD RECORD


Thunderblast (2015 - 2016)

Best distance: 44' 3" (2nd best distance of all-time!)

Winner - Most Unlucky Award 2015


Wheelpopper (2016 - 2017)

Best distance: 44' NEW WORLD RECORD


Pink Fluffy Unicorns (2015 - 2016)

Best distance: 40' 4"


Wheelpopper (2016 - 2017)

Best distance: 39' N


The Epic Ride (Science Class 2016 - 2017)

Best distance: 38' 11"


Dark Gladiator (2015 - 2016)

Best distance: 38' 6"


Caterpillar (2016 - 2017)

Best distance: 37' 9"