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Bay Area Students Draw Top Honors @ 18th Annual Tech Challenge Design Competition

Press Release Date 
Monday, 2 May, 2005
One Saturday, April 30 at The Tech Museum of Innovation, nearly one thousand students engineered devices to extinguish a simulated wildfire for the 18th annual Tech Challenge, sponsored by Cadence Design Systems. The 5th through 12th grade student competition, held today in San Jose, challenges these future innovators to apply scientific principles in tackling a real world problem.

"Based on The Tech's ‘Design in Mind' learning model, Tech Challenge is unique in that it empowers students to work through open-ended problems that adults are still trying to solve. Through the design process, these kids apply a new understanding of physics, electricity, and even robotics to get the job done," said Craig Baker, Vice President of Learning Experiences at The Tech. "It's the process of working in a team, perseverance of working toward a solution, and application of scientific principles that sparks their creativity and cement their futures as innovators."

Best Overall
For their fast completion of the challenge, thorough design journals, costumes, and overall spirit, top honors went to:
Elementary: Blazinators, Warm Spring Elementary in Fremont
Middle School: Pineapples Under the Sea, Castilleja Middle School in Palo Alto
High School: Olympus, Los Altos High School

Most Spectacular Failure
Tech Challenge celebrates the process of design just as much as the successful completion of the mission. Accordingly, awards for Most Spectacular Failure are a crowd and contestant favorite. For devices that were unsuccessful in the grandest way, the award went to:
Elementary: Crazy Cows, Third Street Community Center, downtown San Jose
Middle School: Team 971, Palo Alto
High School: Concave Girls, Cupertino High School

About Tech Challenge
Tech Challenge, The Tech's signature design competition, uniquely delivers on The Tech Museum of Innovation's mission to inspire innovation in the next generation of leaders, by prompting students to engineer a solution to a reality-based problem. In its first 17 years, Tech Challenge has inspired over 7,000 students.

This year's "Battle the Blaze" challenge, asked students to design, build, and operate a device that can retrieve water (one water balloon) from a lake and deliver it to the fire (a designated target) on the top of the ridge. Along the way, students learned valuable lessons about wildfire prevention, and their negative and positive impact on our environment.

Complete List of Tech Challenge 2005 Winners

5th & 6th Grade Division
Best Overall Solution – Blazinators, Warm Springs Elementary School (Fremont)
Best Overall Design Methodology Grand prize – MISS Golden Oaks (Saratoga) Elementary, Saratoga
Best Overall Design Methodology 2nd prize – Fire Retardants, Paradise Valley (Morgan Hill)
Best Overall Design Methodology 3rd prize – Roboboyz, Argonaut Elementary (Saratoga)
Best Documentation – Flaming Five, San Carlos Charter Learning Center (San Carlos)
Best Perseverance – Dynamite, Terman Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Risk-Takers – VLAM!, Terman Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Overall Device Demonstration Grand prize – Aquafina De-Blazers, La Entrada Middle School (Menlo Park)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 2nd prize – Sun Tigers, Terman Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 3rd prize – Science Godzillas, Horace Mann Elementary (San Jose)
Best Simple Elegance – Grudge, Lowell Elementary/Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) (San Jose)
Most Efficient – Hot Pepperoni Dogs, Lowell Elementary/Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) (San Jose)
Most Reliable – The Ternaries, Terman Middle School, Palo Alto Best Overall Design Creativity Grand prize, Duck Tape, Peninsula School (Menlo Park)
Best Overall Design Creativity 2nd prize – Nine Volts, Paradise Valley (Morgan Hill)
Best Overall Design Creativity 3rd prize – Nielson Fire Terminators, Nielson Elementary (Dublin)
Best Engineering Design – Fire-Fighting Fuzzballs, Paradise Valley (Morgan Hill)
Most Resourceful Use of Materials – LegoChamps, Christa McAuliffe Elementary (San Jose)
Most Eco-Friendly - MISS Golden Oaks, Saratoga Elementary (Saratoga)
Most Spectacular Failure – Crazy Cows, Third Street Community Center (San Jose)
Best Teamwork – Fire Fighting Penguins, Peninsula School (Menlo Park)
Best Team Photo – LegoChamps, Christa McAuliffe Elementary (San Jose)
Peer Award: Best Team Name – Tweety's on Fire, Third Street Community Center (San Jose)
Judge's Choice Award – Flying Flames, Saratoga Elementary (Saratoga)
Judge's Choice Award – Blazers, River Glen (Palo Alto)
Judge's Choice Award – The Herpetolgists, Christa McAuliffe Elementary (San Jose)
Judge's Choice Award – Ninja Fire Monkeys (South San Francisco)

Middle School Division
Best Overall Solution – Pineapples Under the Sea, Castilleja Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Overall Design Methodology Grand prize – Fire Ants, Rainbow Bridge Academy (Milpitas), John Hopkins Middle School (Fremont), and Challenger School Meridian (San Jose)
Best Overall Design Methodology 2nd prize – Drowning the Wrath of Fire, Gateway School (Los Gatos)
Best Overall Design Methodology 3rd prize – Viva La Tech, Castilleja School (Palo Alto)
Best Documentation – Blushing Blaze, King's Academy and Peterson Middle School (Santa Clara)
Best Perseverance – Drenched, Castilleja School (Woodside) Best Risk-Takers – The Flaming Phoenixes, St. John Vianney (San Jose)
Best Overall Device Demonstration Grand prize – Bunny Wrenches, Egan School (Los Altos) and Castilleja School (Palo Alto)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 2nd prize – Partially Corrupt, Terman Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 3rd prize – Blue Eggs and Ham, Terman Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Simple Elegance – Exclamationmarks, Bowditch Middle School (Foster City)
Most Efficient – Irefa Angels, McKinley Institute of Technology (Redwood City)
Most Reliable – The EPA Gear Box, Boys and Girls Cub of the Peninsula (East Palo Alto)
Best Overall Design Creativity Grand prize – American Idiots, Loma Prieta Independent Home Study (Los Gatos)
Best Overall Design Creativity 2nd prize – Team Pizza, Hillview Middle School (Atherton)
Best Overall Design Creativity 3rd prize – You're Fired, Jordan Middle School (Palo Alto)
Best Engineering Design – Combustion Bustin Pyro People, Dartmouth Middle School (San Jose)
Most Resourceful Use of Materials – Danger: Contents May Be Hot, Rolling Hills Middle School (Campbell)
Most Eco-Friendly – Divine Intervention, San Carlos Charter Learning Center (San Carlos)
Most Spectacular Failure – Team 971(Palo Alto)
Best Teamwork – Sisters on S.I.N. (Sir Isaac Newton), Hoover Middle School (San Jose)
Peer Award: Best Team Name – Monkeys with Power Tools, Hoover Middle School (San Jose)
Judge's Choice Award – Egan Extinguishers, Egan Intermediate School (Los Altos)
Judge's Choice Award – Los Andinos, Third Street Community Center (San Jose)
Judge's Choice Award – Hydro Squad, El Sereno 4H Club (Saratoga)
Judge's Choice Award – Ready Aim Fire, Jordan Middle School (Palo Alto)

High School Division
Best Overall Solution – Team Olympus, Los Altos High School (Los Altos)
Best Overall Design Methodology Grand prize – Squirtle Squad, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Design Methodology 2nd prize – FENex, Santa Clara High School (Santa Clara)
Best Overall Design Methodology 3rd prize – Endeavor 2005, Henry M. Gunn High School (Palo Alto)
Best Documentation – Girl Science Team, Home School (Martinez)
Best Perseverance – Hooked on Phoenix, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Best Risk-Takers – The Putters, Fremont High School (Sunnyvale) and Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Device Demonstration Grand prize – Wing and a Prayer, Westmont High School (Campbell), Price High School (Campbell) and Prospect High School (Saratoga)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 2nd prize – Hydromaniacs, Fremont High School (Sunnyvale) and Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Device Demonstration 3rd prize – Screeching Beagles, Bellarmine College Preparatory School (San Jose), School of Independent Learners (home school), and St. Francis High School (Mountain View)
Best Simple Elegance – The S.A.G.A. of the Flaming Chickens, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Most Efficient – Flaming Watermelons, El Sereno 4H Club in Saratoga
Most Reliable – MVRT Jolly Green Plasma Giants, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Design Creativity Grand prize – Innovators, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Design Creativity 2nd prize – Robautica, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Best Overall Design Creativity 3rd prize – ROFLtrucks, Monta Vista Engineering Tech (Cupertino)
Best Engineering Design – Blaze em' up, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Most Resourceful Use of Materials – Acid Rain, Santa Clara High School (Santa Clara)
Most Eco-Friendly – The Franchise, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Most Spectacular Failure – Concave Girls, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Best Teamwork – PACBOT, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Peer Award: Best Team Name – Pirates of The Tech Museum, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)
Judge's Choice Award – GEMS, Monta Vista High School (Cupertino)
Judge's Choice Award – D.I.L.F., Menlo School (Atherton)
Judge's Choice Award – Gilroy Fire Eaters, Gilroy High School
(Gilroy) and South Valley Middle School (Gilroy) Judge's Choice Award – Bomberas, Cupertino High School (Cupertino)

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.

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