The Brown University Society for Women Engineers will be sponsoring its fifth annual "Extreme Gingerbread House Competition" on Friday, December 2, from 5:00 - 7:00 in the lobby of the Barus and Holley building on 184 Hope Street.
Twenty-two teams of 3-5 students and professors will be allowed to
pre-register for the competition. Any additional teams that express
interest will be placed on a waitlist in the event that a team does not
arrive. If the team has not arrived within five minutes of the beginning
of the event, their spot will be given to a team on the waitlist or a
team that has shown up at the event without registering.
Each team will be supplied with two boxes of graham crackers, two Ziploc
bags of royal icing, and a tray on which to construct their house.
Additionally, all teams will be provided with an empty sandwich size
Ziploc bag for taking the communal supplies. Foods such as candy canes, M&Ms, teddy grahams, shredded coconut, etc., will be kept on a
central table. At the start of the one hour time slot of building, one
member of each team will be allowed to take the empty Ziploc bag to the
communal table and fill the bag with whatever supplies they feel are
most valuable for their team’s house. All food items will be provided by
SWE at the event; teams are NOT allowed to bring any of their own food.
The teams will have one hour to construct their houses out of the
provided food. Houses should be designed to follow the criteria listed
- The house must fit on the provided tray and not cover the drilled-in holes.
- House dimensions must exceed 6”x6”x6”.
- The house must be hollow.
- The maximum wall thickness is 1”.
- The house must be glued/pasted to the tray; the house may not slide around the tray.
- The house should be designed to withstand earthquakes.
Teams are allowed to bring any tools that they think will be helpful
such as knives, drills, etc. Teams are responsible for bringing the
necessary power connections/extension cords. If you plan on using tools,
please ensure you know how to use them safely and plan on bring the
necessary personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses. No
chemicals can be used during the manufacturing of the house; the house
and all its contents must remain edible at all times.
After exactly one hour, the teams will be forced to stop construction on
their houses. The houses will initially be judged before a panel of
three faculty judges on (1) Attractiveness of the House [1-10
points] (2) Novel use of Building Materials [1-5 points] (3) Use of
Available Space (ie decorations other than the house) [1-5 points].
Additionally, judges will have the option to select one “wildcard” house
after viewing all the completed houses. Judges will award a bonus of
three points to the house if they feel that one house was exceptional in
a way that was not represented in the other scores; this is optional
and at the judges discretion. The sum of these components will be used
as the team’s aesthetic score.
The second portion of judging will be on the ability of the house to
withstand a simulated earthquake. The tray will be attached to a shake
table and cycled through a regimen moving from a low frequency to a high
frequency. After every 15 seconds, the frequency will increase. Time will start when the shake table is turned on, and will
be stopped when part of the house falls off the main structure; this
includes decorations attached to the house, but not “environmental
decorations” that are simply on the tray. The final call on whether a house has "failed" will be at the judges' discretion. Houses will not be judged until tables and floors are clean.
After all the houses have been tested, the maximum amount of time on the
shake table to make a gingerbread house break will be used to calculate
the scores, as shown below:
----------------------- x 50 = Total
Maximum Group Time
Total group scores will be calculated by combining the aesthetic score
(out of 25 points) and the stability score (out of 50 points) for a
total score out of 75 points. The team with the most points will be
considered the winner. The team with the second highest number of points
will be given second place and so forth. The top three teams will be
awarded a prize.
When registering, each team will be asked to pay a registration fee of
$6.00 to enter the event.