Michael J. Allen

Class of 2017 - 2018

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Invention Challenge 1

Ramp Run 2012


The Awesomatic 3000

Designers: Ewan, and Sarah

From the makers:  

Here are some of the tests we did. First we tried putting a stapler on it so there would be more weight to pull it down the ramp. But it ended up slowing it down on the track. Next we made it long so we could get a higher score. But it decreased our potential energy on the ramp. Then we shortened it to store more energy, but it was not short enough. Then we put large wheels in the back and medium in the front. It worked! It went 18 feet and 10 inches. Next we made it long and skinny. It worked even better! It went 20 feet! Those are some of the tests we did.

These are some of the theories we like.

·         We like making it long and skinny because it goes farther than a thick and heavy vehicle that goes really slow.  

·         We like symmetrical designs.

·         We also like short designs because it generates more energy.

·         We also like arrow dynamic.


We think we are going to win because our vehicle goes pretty far. But many others are better. Some even go 35 feet! So on the other hand we might lose.  All the other vehicles use our theories. We think we have the determination to win!!!

Status: Official distance: 16' 00"



The Popsicle

Designers: Hannah and Jacob

From the makers:

The Popsicle is the best vehicle in the competition and it is going to win. We have changed it 8 times and it finally hit the wall. Our first vehicles distance was 3.4 and our distance is now 24.9! It improved by a lot. We had medium wheels first, then we had medium wheels and small wheels then finally we had two large wheels and they were the best. We used the strategy of weight even on both sides and we also used the symmetry strategy. Our vehicle finally hit the wall!   Our vehicle will definitely win it always hits the wall and we are very confident that we will win!


Status: Official distance: 23' 10"




The Volcanic Penguin

Designers: Kyle, Ketley, and Christian

From the makers:

As Kyle, Ketley and I started to build the car the first name was LITTLE BUG. Little bug only reached five feet  because there were two medium wheels at the back and two small wheels in front. We were not happy to see that, so we kept on trying new things like triangle cars and more, but one day I started thinking and building. When I was finished it was in a square shape, one medium wheel in the front and two big wheels at the back. When we tested it the car went fast and straight. It reached 23ft 5 at recess. When we were going to make a permanent record it reached 15' 1". We made it to the competition and our group were happy about it. Mr. Allen asked what was the name, and we named it the VOLCANIC PENGUIN. That was how VOLCANIC PENGUIN was born.

The best vehicle of all time by Kyle

The volcanic penguin is the BEST vehicle ever created. It was made by The 3 Olympians Auto Company. The creators are Kyle, Ketley, and Christian. The vehicle has 1 small wheel in the front and 2 large in the back. The volcanic penguins name comes from the group that the creators of the car come from. The amazing wheels that the car uses came from the fancy bank of Mr. Allen. The wheels are made out of the cheapest k'Nex rubber and the finest plastic. The most amazing moment that the car had was when it touched the ‘wall’ 2 times in a row. The  colorful k'Nex that make up the volcanic penguin give it a menacing look. The gray kNex are the shafts of the vehicle. The front wheel is positioned at the front of the fantabulous vehicle. The brand new vehicle has the simplest design but works like a complicated machine that one of the famous auto companies would make like Toyota or Honda. The ramp that we had tested is a broken table that Mr. Allen has used with all the other classes that have competed in this challenge. We are 1 and 3 in the competition and the farthest we got was 32.4 feet during the 1 race that we won. The best moment that the volcanic penguin has had was when we got rid of the punch buggy and made the 3 wheel design. Our group’s favorite car (besides ours) is the scorpion which is extremely fast. My favorite place to race is out in the hall way in our school because you can really see how far it goes without it bashing in to the wall. That is all about the Volcanic Penguin.


Status: Official distance: 15' 11"




The Rocket

Designers: Max and Mackenzie

From the makers:

The Rocket started out as a failure and is still a failure. It was created by the Cheese Ball Company. The Rocket started out as a horrific 2 wheeled vehicle. We changed it so the next vehicle we made had 2 large wheels in the back and 2 small wheels in the front. It didn’t fare any better. It only went 4’1. We decided to change the structure completely, so we added a huge top frame around the vehicle.  The vehicle had major steering problems. We found that the inner rods were bent every which way. We straightened them out and added a water bottle full of water for weight. It slowed the vehicle down to 9’2. It’s better than last time though, but not enough. We decided to make our structure longer to gain more distance, but that flopped. It was too light and too skinny to go a major distance. It only went 7 feet 11 inches. Mackenzie was sick that day so Max had to work alone. He decided to make a medium skinny vehicle, with big wheels on the back and medium wheels on the front. It was spectacular! {Well, for this team!} It went 16 feet 11 inches. Great for the team, but not + good enough for the competition. That was the only test run Max had to do himself. Mackenzie came back the next day. We decided that we should add two inner spokes running along the length of the vehicle and a giant lego block right in the front. We should have kept the original vehicle because it only went 9 feet 7 inches. We added more weight to the next vehicle we had by adding a pack of permanent markers. That made it go faster by about 2 feet. I only went exactly 12 feet though. The next vehicle we decided weight was weighing it down, so we took off all of the weight boosters and the inner spokes. It only went 3 feet 4 inches. We think we will hopefully win on a miracle.


Status: Official distance: 9' 7"




The Fire Ball

Designers: Josh. W and Aidan.Z

From the makers:

                The Fire Ball was created by the Freshee Fresh boys.  The Fire Ball was tested for the first time one week ago when it got 16’10 then 14’4.

            The second time we got 18’ then 20’5.  We put  a water bottle on it, and it only went 11’10 then 12’11.  We took off the water bottle and it got 21’0 then, we did our official distance. We got 23’4, the farthest till Popsicle beat it with 23’10.  We then added two long pieces and it went 20’2 then 22’0. We changed the wheels and it got 19’3 changed them back and got 23’4, then 23’5, then 23’11, changed the shape and got 22’7 and 21’8.  We then got 22’0 then next we hit the wall four straight times.  We like the large wheels theory and the symmetrical theory.

            We’re going to win because our tests are very good, one of the best in the class.  We’re also going to win because we got 33’11 on Tuesday.



Status: Official distance: 23' 4"




The Wing

From the makers:

Our team thinks that good theories are bigger wheels in the back and smaller in the front. We think that because if you did that the larger wheels would pull it further. We also think that it should be smaller because if it’s bigger it would weigh more and not get as far compared to making it small because it’s lighter. Those are the theories that our group thinks will make us win.

The Wing’s first run went 17.4. It looked like a golf cart. For the first run we put 2 small wheels in the front and 2 large wheels in the back. We tried a second time and it went 17.3. So we switched the large wheels to medium but that only got 8.9. We kept on trying different ideas like a long rectangle with 6 medium wheels, then we tried to make it aerodynamic, and soon we settled on a small square with 2 medium wheels in the front and 2 large wheels in the back. That got further than any other times so that’s what we’re doing for the competition.

The Wing is going to win. The Wing is going to win because it is as fast as an angel’s wing.  Our car is awesome!  We picked the name the wing because it goes pretty fast and it flies like the wind!


Status: Official distance: 15' 10"

World Championship distance:



The Cookie Monster

Designers: Gabe and Sonia

From the makers:

The cookie monster is going to win. Sonia and I made it to the wall five times in a row. Some tests we have done are  we spread the wheels apart but it only got 16.2. We decided to put the wheels further apart but it only got 17.2 so we decided  to make it a square, put large wheels in the back and medium wheels in the front. We tested it and it hit the wall - 24.9! Gabe and I are going to win because our car is awesome. Are you ready for us? Here we come. We have a car that is going to get a medal no matter what.  

Status: Official distance: 24' 9"





Designers: Kieran and Phaidra

From the makers:

The Dalek started off as an unsuccessful vehicle. We had 16 inches. Our design was slow and showed no Dalek resemblance. Design after design tumbled into a void of failure.  We changed our shape, but still it was a low score.  Then an idea popped out of our heads like the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension In Space (a machine that can travel through time and space)) popping through a void.  During indoor recess we made a LEGO TARDIS and attached it to The Dalek harnessing the TARDIS’S mighty power.  Our distance increased to 24 feet.  The weight is what we think booted up our distances up. The Daleks will rise to victory.  This will be the rise of the Daleks!

Status: Official distance: 24'



The Scorpion

Designers: Tristen and Kaleigh

From the makers:

The Scorpion is designed to go fast and sting anything that is in its path. The Scorpion is designed to have large wheels in the back and medium wheels in the front. We made it a small rectangle shape because the first one we made  was larger so it didn’t go as far or as fast. When we took the Scorpion for a test on the ramp every time it always pulled to the left, so we put two K'Nex pieces on each side to try to balance the weight of the car.       

Status: Official distance: 9' 6"




Designers: Philip and Isabella

From the makers:

One of the tests that we did is we put poles on the end of our vehicle.  We did it to make a longer distance.  It worked!  We got about three more inches than it would if we didn’t.  After that for no apparent reason we put these triangular shaped things on the top of our vehicle.  At the end of each triangular shape was this shape that reminded me of a dragon's head.  Later on we took them off.  The long poles in the front and the triangular shapes on the top made it look like a cricket.  And from that point on it was called the cricket.

Personally I like my theory “weight but not too much weight”.  We put that theory on our vehicle.  And it sure worked.  I liked Kyle’s theory “weight in the back”.  We put it to the test and it worked.  But after a few tests my partner Isabella accidently launched it backwards.  It actually went farther so the weight in the back idea we are not going to use that theory.

We are going to win no questions asked.  We have the antenna for farther distance.  We have big wheels in the front to pull our vehicle instead of push it. We are going to win.  And we have to win. And it looks like a cricket.

Status: Official distance: 14' 5''



The Firecracker

Designers: Patrick and Ellisa

From the makers:

The firecracker.  We came up with an idea right away the first time we got together for the project. The brilliant idea we came up with was making the front of the car aerodynamic.  One of our other ideas was weight in the back. There should be weight in the back because when it goes down the ramp it goes faster because the ramp is an inclined plane. We added weight in the back by putting markers and k’nex in the back. We also thought the Sarah idea (triangulation) was good and we added it on our vehicle.

Our tests sometimes were horrible, some were okay, and some were spectacular. To Elissa and I, our most spectacular launch was our official distance. It was sixteen foot one. We got so excited and glad that we decided that one was to be our official distance test. One of our worse ones was our first test. It was five foot four. One of our not horrible, but not amazing ones was eleven foot ten, and twelve foot one. Every time we tested it got farther and farther each time and the last time we did it was our official distance.

We think that the Firecracker is going to win because we think it is going to blow your minds. Literally, it will blow up your minds. It is going to shoot across the sky and smash the end of the hallway. It will set the world on FIRE! It might not win awesomely. It might win so close to the second place, but it will win. It will win because of our intelligent ideas. That is why the Firecracker will win            

Status: Official distance: 16' 1''



The Soccer ball

Designers: Rachel and Jayda

From the makers:

Status: Official distance: 15' 9"''