Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Spartans Can't Be Beat in Egg Scrambler Competition

Posted 12/12/2008 by Mike Montgomery

Nelson Vore’s yearly physics contest another success.
by Mike Montgomery  
photo by Rhea Boyd
scrambler_SMALL.gif     Every year Science teacher Nelson Vore holds an Egg Scrambler competition for his Physics and Physics X classes, challenging their scientific skills in fun and exciting ways.

     Don’t let the name fool you. In the physics world, an Egg Scrambler is not an omelet making contest, but rather a student created, sometimes wooden or metal vehicle that is self-propelled by sometimes a pulley-system with a dropping weight and a string, or sometimes a base which pushes the vehicle pre-set distances, with an egg mounted on the front. The goal is to NOT scramble the egg.

    "I adopted the idea from a competition called Science Olympiad at the middle school where I used to teach," said Vore. "And since there had to be a ‘big project’ for my honors class each semester, I thought the scrambler would be perfect." This is Vore’s third year at TJ, and the Scrambler’s second.

     The overall goal of the competition is to get the scrambler to reach as close to a far wall as it can go without breaking the egg mounted on the front. Sound easy? Think again. While already having to design and construct an original Scrambler to the given height and weight requirements, and create an efficient system of propelling it without pushing it, students also have to measure out pre-run distances and be able to set their Scrambler to run them, not to mention make it accurate enough to reach those distances consistently. Despite all of these exceedingly difficult and rigorous expectations, students in both regular and honors Physics classes managed to not only build these Scramblers, but also perfect them into precisely accurate and intricate machines.

    The preliminary round for the Scramblers was held during the second week of November, spawning seven finalists who were set to compete in the finals on Tuesday, November 18. The Final round consisted of many astonishing machines  competing for the coveted title of Scrambler Champion. While outstanding efforts were made by all of the competitors, Juniors Tommy Buck and Gilbert Corino came out on top. Buck and Corino were successfully able to get their Scrambler to accurately meet the required distances given in the contest.

    In fact, Buck and Corino set a Scrambler record. They actually got their front-egg to touch the far wall without it breaking, which has never been done before. "We were really confident in our design, and even though we had some stiff competition like Billy Sprague, Andrea Shacklock and Daniel Smith, our Scrambler just proved to be best," said Buck. "Now we’re just waiting for the Catapult Competition in the spring."

    Each year the Physics Department’s Egg Scrambler Competition is regarded as one of the academic marvels of the semester, and always captures the intrigue, and challenges the minds of Vore’s Physics students. This year’s contest was obviously no exception.