News and Updates

Mystery Architecture

Q: Mystery Architecture- Are the students permitted to bring their own scissor to use at the competition? If not, will left-handed scissors be available?

A: WESO will supply all materials needed to every team. Generally, we supply only right handed scissors, one pair per team.

If any of the students specifically need ONLY left handed scissors, please have them ask the supervisor for one. Also, please let us know ahead of time if possible so we can have enough ready on hand.



I’m coaching aerodynamics. I know the kids have 5 min to make 2 planes. My question is, if I have two kids as a team, can I have each of them make 1 plane in the 5 min, and use the plane from each kid as distance and time plane, respectively? Thanks!


As a team they can divide the building labor anyway they want. The event description clearly states they can have 2 tries at distance and 2 for flight time.
Teams will design, construct, and fly at least two paper airplanes. Two initial flights will be measured for distance. Two final flights will be measured for flight time.
They should know in advance what the plan is for a plane designed for distance and a planer designed for flight time.
One paper airplane should be designed to fly as far as possible. The other paper airplane should be designed to stay in the air as long as possible.

We do encourage them to work as a team to decide their strategy, having used scientific process to determine  the optimal designs.

Feathered Friends

Comment: For Feathered Friends, will the students have access to/be given a master list of all the birds to use at the competition for spelling reference?
For example a single sheet of paper that just lists the birds like so:
American Crow
American Goldfinch
American Robin
Blue Jay…

Answer: Spelling errors will not cause points to be subtracted from scores this year. We will have a list of all the birds as part of the diet guide.

Photon Phun

1) Could you please provide some examples of hands on experiments that would be asked 4th and 5th graders?
2) Are 4th and 5th graders expected to be able to draw ray diagrams?


1)The hands on experiments may come from any of the Concepts to Cover or Additional Concepts section of the Photon Phun Study Guide.  They are designed to be hands on applications of the concepts they have been studying and should take only a few minutes each to complete the experiment and answer some questions about their observations.

2)The 4th and 5th graders will not be asked to draw any ray diagrams for  lenses.  They are expected to be familiar with with them however – and likely have already come across ray diagrams in your discussions of convergent and divergent lenses.  They are expected to be be able to draw a reflection diagramsimilar to the one provided on page 2 of the Study Guide.


Hang Time

Comment 1: Can a fishing swivel be attached to the payload (ping pong and Easter egg) with a tape. The parachute will be tied to the fishing swivel.

2. For the 5th graders can play dough or some weight be placed inside the egg?


Answers: 1 Yes, a fishing swivel may be attached to the payload as long as it does not alter the payload.  Something like tape is fine but using something like hot glue that could alter the physical or chemical makeup of the payload is prohibited.

2. Yes you can put something inside , but you cannot alter the payload itself.