This was the 12th year for the Human Powered Paper Vehicle engineering competition and we had a great bunch of competitors. Teams turned out from colleges all over the state to match wits, muscle and paper. Most teams went with variations of traditional designs, with a larger percentage of tricycles than in the past few years. Before the race, the vehicles stood strong and ready, with many sporting custom paint jobs as well as other decorative elements. During the rigors of the race, many teams discovered that even a tricycle has to do more than look good and the course took its toll on the vehicles.
The vehicle performance winning team "Gator-done", from Green River Community College, turned in the third best time ever with their sturdy and fast bicycle design. Their time of 1:25 was only four seconds off the record time of 1:21, set in 2005 by team "Aftershock", from Shoreline Community College. This year's second place team in vehicle performance was "Team 111", from Spokane Falls Community College. They did surprisingly well with their rear wheel steering, reverse tricycle.
Teams took a variety of approaches to presenting their ideas including multimedia films, sound tracks, animated 3D designs, material samples, single person and full team presentations. The best presentation this year was by "Gears of War", from Highline Community College. They were followed closely by "Team 111", from Spokane Falls Community College.
Team "Gears of War" also took home the award for "Most Innovative Design", with their elliptical walker design. Finally, team "Pulp Friction" from Spokane Falls Community College took home the "Best Team Spirit" award, for their tenacity and drive to complete the race even as their vehicle became less and less cooperative.
If you are a student or faculty member and are looking into this competition for the first time, I hope you will consider joining us in the future. For those of you who participated in our competition, I look forward to seeing you and your new designs.
Once again, thanks to all.
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