The Best of 2022

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This is a collection of pictures and videos of devices that placed in the top ten at the 2022 National Tournament at California Institute of Technology. Feel free to add more pictures and/or videos of devices. If possible, please include a description about your device. Because everyone benefits when we share, devices that did not place in the top ten are sometimes allowed.

The Best of Nationals pages highlight the best devices for building events from recent national tournaments. All photos and videos of devices on these pages are submitted by users.

Bridge (Division B)

Bridge (Division C)

Detector Building (Division C)

Electric Wright Stuff (Division B)

5th Place

These pictures were submitted by Bananasaurus and his partner, who competed for Shady Side Academy (PA). It averaged flight times of around 1:25 in a 22 foot ceiling practice facility. At Nationals, a draft from the upper ceiling pushed the plane down resulting in a lower flight time than expected. Our final score at national was a 1:21 flight with the 5% Wing Bonus. The overall plane was not very special as seen from images. Custom ribs were cut using the Simplex 5% Foil and an extended tailboom increased tail moment allowing for easier trimming and more stable flight. The turning mechanism was mounted on a polyimide tube allowing for easier adjustment of turn. The entire electronic assembly is the JH Aerospace Advanced Power System. Banana estimates that had the planes not been about 1.5 grams overweight, that they would most likely have been able to attain times of up to 1:35-1:40 in a typical HS gym.

National Tournament Flight 1

Electric Wright Stuff Side View.jpg


Gravity Vehicle (Division C)

Mission Possible (Division B)

It's About Time (Division C)

Mousetrap Vehicle (Division B)

Ping Pong Parachute (Division B)

Ping Pong Parachute (Division C)

Sounds of Music (Division B)

5th Place

This instrument was built by Bananasaurus and his partner Vivan Poddar, who placed 5th at the 2022 Science Olympiad National Tournament. It is essentially a Kalimba, that was custom built. We started by cutting 4 pieces of Cherry wood(used because of it being a hardwood and relatively cheap and easy to find), into the frame. We assembled the frame using clamps and wood glue while we worked on making the top and back of the instrument using the same cherry wood(Bottom is thicker than the top to allow for better sound quality). Finally we unclamped the frame then wood glued the frame together and cut them with a band saw and sanded them with a oscillating belt sander. We went on to build the bridge, the bottom saddle was made using maple wood and was made using a compound miter saw. The area holding the brass rod was a single cut while the pipe overhang was made using a chisel and two miter saw cuts. The tines were made using a roll of spring metal cut to different lengths found online. The entire instrument was tuned using a tiny metal hammer. Paper was placed under the tines to create a better timbre. The music, printed out with paper, is taped onto the instrument. Kalimba Top View.jpg Storage Box.jpg

Storm the Castle (Division B)

Trajectory (Division C)

WiFi Lab (Division C)

Wright Stuff (Division C)