Union dominates annual K’Nex egg drop competition


Caption: (The third place Overall Champs were (front row, from left) Landrey Hanna, Captain-Vaiden Bouder, Cecilia Burroughs, LaCee Bishop and Chloe Cooper. The second place overall Champs were (back row, left to right( James Spreafico. Montana Butler, Captain- Jayden Thompson and Grand Champions Captain- Matthew Gardner, Zac LeBlanc and Brendan Harrison. Submitted photo)

Three hundred seventy students comprising 75 teams from Newton County, Union, Philadelphia, Neshoba Central, Leake County, Leake Central, Scott Central, Lake, Forest, and Morton participated in the annual East Central Talented and Gifted (ECTAG) K’Nex Egg Drop competition.

Each school brought up to two teams per division to tackle this year’s challenges.  Second graders designed a vehicle to transport a tennis ball and a raw egg down an eight-foot ramp at two-foot intervals starting at two feet and working up to eight.

Grades 3-12 were faced with the challenge of constructing a vehicle to transport two golf balls and one raw egg down the ramp. The lightest vehicle that traveled the greatest distance (height) without breaking the egg or losing the tennis ball or golf balls out of their compartments was declared the winner of each age division.

Union brought home five first-place ribbons and a second place.

“Team members collaborating to create a vehicle with the least mass to accomplish the engineering challenge was achieved by students incorporating the Engineering Design process,” Union SEEK instructor Terry Gressett said. “First they had to understand Newton’s Laws of Physics, then imagine various scenarios of possible ways to solve the problem, then agree on a first design to test. If that didn’t work, they had to discuss, re-design and re-test until the challenge was accomplished.”

Bringing home first place for Division Y-A were second graders Bella Fultz, Captain- Sophia LaPeze, Aiden Robertson, Sawyer Robinson and Kai Staton.

Division I-A team members were third and fourth graders  Annley Howell, Nora Maiden, Mary Hannah Martin, and captain-Destiny Moulds, walked away with second place.

The II-A team, consisting of sixth graders captain-Claire Hennington, Kimberly Russell, Hallie Smith and Mari Krista Thrash, brought home 1st place.

The fifth grade II-B team of LaCee Bishop, captain- Vaiden Bouder, Cecilia Burroughs, Chloe Cooper, and Landrey Hanna earned first place.

Both high school teams also brought home first place in their divisions. IV-A Team members were captain-Matthew Gardner, Brendan Harrison, Zac LeBlanc. IV-B team members were Montana Butler, James Spreafico and captain-Jayden Thompson.

Participating in the final round were division winners (I-A) Scott Central, (I-B) Morton, (II-A) Union, (II-B) Union, (III-A) Newton County, (III-B) Newton County, (IV-A) Union, and (IV-B) Union.  The four Union teams in the championship round were the only teams to successfully complete eight feet without breaking the egg or losing the golf balls from their compartments on impact. The weight of the vehicles determined the final winners. Union High School (IV-A) team members Gardner, Harrison, and LeBlanc walked away as grand champions with a vehicle that weighed 123.5 grams.

UHS (IV-B) team members Butler, Spreafico and Thompson won  second place with a vehicle that weighed 128.5 grams and Union (II-B) Bishop, Bouder, Burroughs, Cooper and Hanna earned third place with their vehicle weighing in at 139 grams.

Division II-A first place winners included, from left, Hallie Smith, Mari Krista Thrash, Captain- Claire Hennington, and Kimberly Russell.

Winning 1st place for Division Y-A were second graders, from left, Bella Fultz, Sawyer Robinson, Sophia LaPeze, Aiden Robertson and Kai Staton.

Taking the Division I-A second place team were, from left, Annley Howell, Mary Hanna Martin, Nora Maiden, Captain-Destiny Moulds.