Last weekend was Tech Challenge at the San Jose Tech Museum, and we had eleven teams compete! This year’s challenge was particularly tricky. The students were challenged to create a glider that would fly over a 3½-foot mountain range, clear a 6-foot-tall pylon, and then land on a target approximately 3 feet in diameter. The glider could be mechanically launched, but not at an angle; and the entire course was only 29 feet in length.
Observers were on the edge of their seats as many gliders ran into the mountain range or pylon. Ones that got past both obstacles automatically merited an “ooh” or “aah.” And the gliders that actually landed close to the target elicited rounds of cheers and applause.
After the middle school competition, the Tech Museum held a corresponding awards ceremony. We are excited to announce that the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute’s team The Fighter Gliders brought home the Judges Choice Award for Best Research.
We will be holding our own internal awards ceremony to honor all the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute teams and to celebrate the hard work that they put in over the last several months.