We were utterly blown away by all of our exhibitors this year. There was such a high concentration of creativity, intelligence, and passion that night, we thought the roof might come clean off the building! We had a hard time picking winners, but we count ourselves lucky to have had this problem. Check them out below!
The Deadliest Catch Award to Heritage Elementary School in Stockbridge for showing so effectively all the components of a system for distributing young salmon through a remotely operated, underwater vehicle (ROV). They get help from the high school ROV team to build robots and raise Chinook salmon. After testing in a tank, they send the ROV on a mission to release the salmon at a good time and location, and document their work with data, photos, and video recordings. (Sponsored by the Square One Education Network and the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor.)
Take a peek at the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIQXPPJFbDI
Other Exploratory Academy projects: https://www.facebook.com/HeritageExploratoryAcademy
We are the Champions Award to the Dreadbots for demonstrating award-winning technology in their pyramid-climbing, frisbee-throwing robot. At the FIRST Robotics Competition in April, the Dexter High School team placed eighth of 100 in the Galileo Division, and then, working collaboratively with other top-ranking teams in their division, they reached the quarterfinals where they lost to the third place alliance team. These Dexter High School champions are very busy now showing others the technology they developed, and building their team to face a new robotics challenge next year. (Sponsored by Zingerman’s Mail Order.)
The Mindblowing Award to Menlo Innovations, for showing kids how they can play a collaborative and competitive version of Minecraft while developing skills in coding; that is, giving instructions to the computer that runs the game for everybody. The players also share the modules they create with code.
The Big Bang Theory Award to Summers Knoll for a variety of demonstrations of technical wizardry, including the mechanics of a trebuchet, a demonstration of dense CO2 containing heat, a means to measure calories more accurately, and the biggest bang of the evening, the Pingpong Cannon. (Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor.)
The Mission Possible Award to All Hands Active for showing kids anything is possible, including the direct scan of a 3D image of anyone willing to stand on the rotating table while the “everyday” and “everywhere” technology of the Kinect draws on the computer monitor. (Sponsored by Plante Moran.)
The Dream Makers Award to the University of Michigan Department of Mechanical Engineering for showing kids if you can dream, it you can make it. One example is the toy robot that was modified slightly so it could be directed to draw any image. (Sponsored by Cornerstone Design.)
The Vincent Van Google Award to staff of the Ann Arbor office of Google for taking kids all over the world to walk the galleries of more than 260 art museums, getting something like a “street view” of a room, and then viewing up close to examine and sketch any image. Some paintings are available under different lighting conditions, and most can be examined with details greatly magnified.
The Full Steam Ahead Award to John Bowditch for showing historic –and dramatic– uses of steam to young engineers of today. Examples include the essence of getting steam to rotate a wheel, to reproduce music, and, of course, to blow a loud whistle! His next demonstration will be at the Ann Arbor Mini-Make Faire on June 8.
The Origami on Steroids Award to Clonlara kids for showing us how complex shapes can be assembled from folding paper plates, explored and demonstrated by Brad Hansen-Smith. Second only to the skills and understanding of the school kids, we were wowed by the range of paper sculptures made by Brad. Photos alone can’t do the amazing work justice. (Sponsored by Red Hen Educational Toys, and the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor.)
The Rocking in the Backyard Award to Backyard Brains for providing the SpikerBox so they can then show us how nerve signals can be measured and analyzed in the leg of a cockroach, and how the muscles of a cockroach leg can be activated.
Thank you to all of our participants and, remember, GEEK ON!