Below are the rules for the 2013 version of The Amazing Spaghetti Machine Contest. You can also download a copy of these rules.
If you are uncertain or unclear regarding these rules please feel free to contact us:
Competition Entry and Registration
- The Contest is open only to Victorian high-school students enrolled in year 10.
A maximum of fifty (50) teams will be accepted in the 2013 contest. As a special offer in 2013, schools whose teams completed the build period and then participated in the judging event in 2012 will receive an automatic place, should they register again in 2013, in recognition of their achievement in the first year of the Contest. After these schools, all teams registering for 2013 will be accepted into the competition as Successful Registrants in the order in which registrations are received online, via the registration page.
- Registrations Open: Monday 18th March 2013 at 9am (AEDT)
- Registrations Close: Thursday 21st March 2013 at 5pm (AEDT)
- Only one team per school may register for the Contest.
- Each entry must nominate a school staff member to act as Team Supervisor and contact point for the team.
- All applicants will be advised of the outcome of their team’s application by email on 25th March, 2013. In addtion, successful Registrants will be also be listed on the contest website on this day.
- Each team will be required to build a machine according to the Task set by the University of Melbourne.
- The Task will be announced on the contest website on 25th March, 2013. Building can commence from this date.
- The machine should be able to complete the Task as set by the contest organisers.
- The machine should be contained in an area no larger than 1.3m (W) x 1.3m (D) x 1.5m (H). The machine may be smaller than these dimensions.
- The machine must be transportable in order to take part in the judging event at the University of Melbourne.
- The machine must have a minimum of 12 steps. There is no maximum number of steps. A ‘step’ is defined as the transfer of energy from one action to another action (e.g a series of dominoes collapsing that then triggers another action is a step).
- Identical transfers of energy in succession should be considered one step (e.g two separate sets of domino lines in succession, with one line triggering the next is considered one step).
- Machines have a minimum time limit of 30 seconds, and a maximum time limit of 2 minutes from the time of launch in which to complete the Task.
- The machine should not represent a safety risk to either its operators or to spectators standing within 1 metre of it. This should be achieved through appropriate safeguards within the design, and the avoidance of dangerous materials or parts as part of this design. Machines that are not considered safe by event organisers at the judging event will not be allowed to run.
The machine must not contain any:
- Hazardous materials
- Naked flame
- Live animals
- A maximum of two (2) items within the machine may be run by power cords connected to a wall-socket power outlet. A powerboard running from a wall-socket power outlet will be provided for each team's display area, from which these two power cords may run if needed. There is no limit on the use of batteries and other non-wall socket power sources.
- Successful Registrants of the Contest will receive one (1) $50 store voucher for a hardware store in their local area, to be chosen after the successful registration of all Contest teams is confirmed. Please note that these businesses are not in any way affiliated with the Contest.
- These vouchers are to be used for buying parts or materials for the team’s spaghetti machine.
- Schools are not required to return the unspent portions of vouchers at the end of the construction period.
- Once sent, vouchers and their security are the responsibility of the Team Supervisor. Lost or stolen vouchers will be unable to be replaced.
- Vouchers are to be used only by the Team Supervisor or team members. Selling, auctioning, or exchanging of vouchers is forbidden and will result in the team responsible for the voucher being disqualified from competition.
If a school withdraws from the competition before the vouchers are used they will be required to return the vouchers to the University of Melbourne to:Attn: Sam Davison
Melbourne School of Engineering
University of Melbourne Parkville, VIC 3010
Judging and Prizes
- Judging will take place at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus on the afternoons of Tuesday27th and Wednesday 28th August, 2013, with time for teams to set up in the morning. Exact running times will be provided by the date the Task is announced.
- Within two weeks of the successfully registering for the Contest teams will be advised which of the two days they will be required to attend and compete at. In the event that a School has a problem with the allocated day attempts will be made to adjust the date, however there is no guarantee it will be possible to meet the school’s wishes.
- All teams will be allocated a Designated Area on the floor of the judging venue in which to setup their machine.
- Teams will have a maximum setup time of 4 hours to complete the setup of their machines at their Designated Area prior to the commencement of judging.
- At the end of each day of competition, teams will be required to immediately pack up and remove their machine from the contest venue.
- The order of machine presentation will be determined by drawing teams from a hat at the end of the official setup period.
- There will be two rounds of judging with each team ‘running’ their machines once per round. Teams will have the time between their first and second round runs to reset their machines in preparation for the next run.
- After launch, human intervention or interaction with the machine while running (i.e. to ‘fix’ a problem or reset a step) is permitted, but will attract a small penalty for each interaction.
Entries will be judged on:
- Reliability of machine (ability of the machine to achieve the Task with minimal human interaction over three separate runs)
- Timing of machine (the Task should be completed in a time span between 30 seconds and 2 minutes)
- Variety in the use of different types of energy transferral within the machine (in particular natural and renewable energy sources)
- Innovative and original use of materials in machine construction (in particular recycled or re-purposed parts and materials)
- The team's display area, which should contain informative and engaging display material for the public visiting the judging event regarding the machine's operation, and the team's process in building it.
- A score will be given to each team at the completion of the second run of their machine, with a running tally being publicly announced and recorded at the contest venue.
- The overall winners will be announced at the conclusion of the second day of competition on 28th August 2013, following the tallying of all scores. Winners will also be published online at the Contest website on 29th August 2013. The top-placed team at the end of the first day of competition will be encouraged to have at least one representative present at the end of the second day of competition, should their team finish as Contest winners.
- The judges’ decision is final and no appeals or protest will be heard.
- Prizes will be presented to the team and will be the responsibility of the Team Supervisor.
The prizes for the winning team are:
- A unique ‘Spaghetti Champions’ trophy;
- $200 cash prize (to go towards a team celebration event nominated by the team supervisor); and
- $300 online voucher for Haines Education & Learning, to be spent at the discretion of the winning school.
- In addition to the overall award for best machine there will be additional awards given out on each day of competition for achievement in different aspects of design and presentation. These awards will be determined by the judges.
- An ‘Audience Choice’ award will also be awarded for each day of competition, and will be decided by the following process:
- One vote will be allowed for every person attending the event, visitors and spectators alike, via an entrance ticket doubling as a ballot paper.
- The team with the most votes will receive the Audience Choice award.
Photos and Video
- Persons present during the Judging at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus on 27th and 28th August 2013 will be permitted to take photos and video.
- The University of Melbourne may also take photos and video of person attending the Contest, as well as teams and Team Supervisors. Photos and video may appear on the Contest website, internal reporting documents and the University’s promotional material for similar events.