B – Middle School
NC Essential Standards Alignment:
Grade 6, 7, and 8: Goals 1 and 2; High School Physics
7.P.1, 7.P.2, Phy.1.1, Phy.1.2, Phy.1.3, PSc.1.1, PSc.1.2
See the National Rules Manual
Event Score Sheet:
National Event Page:
Each team is allowed to enter only one Boomilever, built prior to the competition. All participants must properly wear eye protection at all times. Participants without proper eye
protection must be immediately informed and given a chance to obtain eye protection if time allows. Participants without proper eye protection will not be allowed to compete and be placed in Tier 4. Participants may NOT bring any equipment such as levels or squares. The Event Supervisor will provide the Test Apparatus and tools/materials for measurement
This is a building event. Teams will design and build ahead of time a boomilever constructed from wood and glue capable of bearing a load. The official rules define the minimum/maximum dimensions that the tower must have. At the competition teams will place their boomilever on the testing platform, and load sand into a bucket suspended and supported by the boomilever. The boomilever will be loaded until either it breaks or 15 kg is held, whichever occurs first.
High score wins. Scoring for this event is based on efficiency. There is an added base bonus this year. The following formula will be used:
(Load supported + load score bonus)/Mass of Boomilever
Boomilevers that fail to meet one or more of the requirements will be ranked in a 2nd tier beneath those that do meet requirements. Boomilevers that cannot be tested at all will be ranked in a 4th tier below those that can be tested. Ties will be broken first by whichever boomilever is lightest, then by the team that provided the best estimate of the mass the boomilever could support.
The goal is not to build the strongest boomilever, it is to build the most efficient boomilever. Most winning boomilevers will break before hitting 15kg.
Students will also have to estimate what their load supported will be this year. This number will be used only in tie breaker situations.
The above link is for Towers but contains good information that can be applied to your boomilevers.
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Be careful when constructing your tower that it is level. If the base or any part of the tower is leaning or crooked, it will lean even more as weight is applied and potentially tip over before it breaks, as this one does.
The process of placing your tower on the platform, threading the chain through, hanging the bucket, and how to load the sand. This is the PVC “breaker” used throughout NC.
A tower supports 15 kg before breaking. This or a very similar apparatus is the sand loading device (breaker) used at every NC regional and state tournament. A lever on the back releases sand at a rate of the competitor’s choosing, which flows down a chute into the 5 gallon bucket. The bucket handle has been replaced with a rope, so the bucket will self- center and all the weight is always in line with the chain.
Instructional video for how to glue balsa for your tower and what kind of glue to use.
How to attach the sides of your tower base at the proper angle.
Simply placing your tower diagonally across the platform opening reduces the length of the sides needed, thus reducing the tower weight and increasing your structural efficiency.