Water Corruption – Investigative Report – #1
Due January 15
In this Challenge, your team must research the source, cleanliness and rechargeable nature of your community’s water supply. Then, identify a plausible threat to that supply: contamination? development? accessibility? Create an on-the-scene investigative report as if that threat is coming to pass, detailing a) the problem; b) what could have been done to prevent it; and c) what is being done to contain or fix it.
Defying Gravity, Rube Goldberg Style – Documentary – #2 (STEM)
Due February 15
Car jack, forklift, pulley and dumbbell curl: there are lots of ways to hoist an object off the ground cleanly and efficiently. Not here! In the tradition of the famous Rube Goldberg, you and your team must create a device that opposes gravity using at least two separate machines that handle the load in sequence to raise an object (or multiple objects) two meters off the ground.
For middle school teams the challenge is to raise an object or objects weighing a total of two kilograms two meters off the ground. High schoolers need to raise an object or objects weighing a total of four kilograms two meters off the ground.
Chemical Dating Game – Game Show – #3
Due February 15
The Dating Game was a classic TV series pairing bachelors and bachelorettes that ran from the mid-60s through the 1990s. Now, you have a chance to re-create this television format, pairing …periodic elements. That’s right: choose an element to be the subject of the show, then three elements as contestants for ‘a date’. One must be clearly the most compatible, and one must be clearly incompatible. What sort of questions might help you determine compatibility? Are there any ions? With which element is your contestant most likely to bond?
Plagiarizing Nature – Pitch Video – #4 (STEM)
Due April 15
You and your team have developed a product that mimics a natural phenomenon or process – what we call biomimicry. But to fully develop your concept and successfully bring it to market, you need financing. This is your lucky break: you have been selected to present your idea to a team of investors who can propel your project forward. Make the case for why this product or process will make the most difference for society: Is it the strongest? Lightest? Most energy efficient? Time is short, competition for funding is fierce, and you need a financial boost.
What’s Your Problem? – Free-Form Narrative – #5 (STEM)
Due April 15
A Special Meridian Stories Challenge, for Maine schools only, that offers participating teams outside STEM support and rewards winning teams with cash prizes, all courtesy of the Perloff Foundation
In this unique challenge student teams will compete to win not only placement and Meridian Stories Badges, but prize money (first place $400, second place $300, and third place $200). This challenge asks teams of students to exercise their technical and scientific skills, intellect, and training to create a solution to a real world, local problem. The final product will be a 3-5 minute video demonstrating the problem and the form, function and economic viability of your solution inside a creative narrative. The narrative can be in a format of your own choosing – rap, movie trailer, comic skit, drama – and the creativity of the presentation is an integral part of the challenge. One other unique facet to this Challenge: student teams can call on a Meridian Stories STEM Advisor once during the process, at a point to be determined by each team.