Two hundred and sixty middle- and high-school students flocked to JPL's campus Friday to compete in the 13th annual Invention Challenge.
A total of 34 teams (19 student and 15 JPL teams) were challenged to create devices that would lift a ping-pong ball and hold it against a ceiling two meters (about 6.6 feet) above the ground.
Sixteen local schools, including Crescenta Valley, Monrovia, South Pasadena and Temple City High Schools, competed, but the Magnolia Science Academy in Carson came out on top, fulfilling the objective in .20 of a second.
Morningside (.30 of a second) and Crescenta Valley High School (.33 of a second) placed second and third in the student division. Magnolia Science Academy's time was the fastest of the day — even outdoing JPL's best and brightest.
David Van Buren and La Cañada residents PC Chen and Jack Kanholm were closest to Magnolia's time, completing the task in .23 of a second. Both teams tied for first place in the JPL division. Richard Goldstein (.30 of a second) and Bob Krylo (.33 of a second) finished in second and third.