NORTH RIDGEVILLE - Sixth-grader Sophia Thibodeaux placed first in the nation in the Akron Rubber Band Contest for her interactive game titled “Trebuchet!” She placed first in the Arts and Leisure Division. The other division was Science and Engineering. The premise of the project was to design and create a working invention or artwork that incorporates at least one rubber band.
Students also wrote an essay to go along with their projects. Excerpts from Sophia’s essay explain the premise of the game:
“My invention, the game, ‘Trebuchet!,’ is meant to be a more interactive game that makes learning fun and interesting with trivia facts. ‘Trebuchet!’ folds up into an easy-to-carry box with a handle and latches. To start, the youngest player goes first. Your opponent will read you a trivia question. If you get the question right, you get an opportunity to launch the rubber band balls at your opponent’s tower! If you knock the two top pieces off, you win! Also included in the assembly guide, is some amazing information on the name, ‘Trebuchet.’ This game is a fun learning experience for all ages. Rubber bands are the main component to my game! The catapults, which are constructed using rubber bands, launch rubber-band-covered balls. The stabilizer rubber bands keep the walls safely upright while playing the game.”
The contest, for middle school aged students, included schools from all over the country. North Ridgeville Middle School placed first for most participants, followed by Roslyn Middle School in New York and Holy Trinity School in Ohio.
The contest was hosted by the Akron Global Polymer Academy, an outreach division of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. The contest was designed to give students an opportunity to have fun learning about STEAM, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Each fall, students are invited from across the nation to come up with new ways of using rubber bands to create inventions, games, artwork and more. This is fitting as Akron is the rubber capital of the world.
Sophia was awarded $600 for her award-winning design. North Ridgeville City Schools received a $200 donation for having the most participants of any school district.