Mystery Architecture

Mystery Architecture


Description: Students will be given a mystery set of materials to build a freestanding tower as tall as possible and still support the weight of a tennis ball.


Event Supervisor: Simon Miller

 event supervisor info
 Download the current rules here.  
Example manerial list from 2016
more event info be careful
Event Coach Workshop recap- be sure you're using the latest rules
  There may be a "Quick Start Kit"  available for this event. 
 See the Elementary Workshop List for this season
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elem faq button web


What are the dimensions of the end supports of the testing apparatus?

The platform area on each end of the testing apparatus will be about 12" x 12".   These platforms will be a few feet off the ground.

May the ball hang below the bridge?

Yes. The tennis ball may hang below the bridge at its midpoint. The ball is not required to be the highest point of the bridge.

How will the bridge be judged if a piece falls off during testing?

There is no penalty for a piece of the bridge falling off.   However, the bridge may not be supported by a piece that is touching the floor, or by anything other than the ends which touch the top of the testing support platforms.

Is it required that the bridge have a particular construction where it rests on the platform at each end, like pillars?

There are no requirements for a specific bridge design.  The platform on each side that the bridge rests on will be a flat surface.   Each bridge will be unique and determined by the student team.

How will a team be scored if its bridge extends past the supports?

If after adjusting the testing apparatus to the desired span, the students' bridge extends beyond the support platforms (to the rear or the sides), it will be classified as Tier 2, and ranked with the bridges that did not support a tennis ball.


What materials will students receive? How many skewers or straws? How large of a paper bag?

The material list and quantity will not be known by the participants until they enter the competition room.  That information will not be posted outside the competition room.  There will be a list posted in the competition room where students can see it, to allow them to double check that their kit is complete.



If at the tournament, the students receive the materials in a bag, can the bag material be used in constructing the bridge?

Students may use any of the materials provided in, and including, the container or bag in the construction of their bridge.