SPONTANEOUS Verbal-Hands On PROBLEM: Creating the Magic

By Allen Ball

A. JUDGE tells team: this is a verbal-hands on problem. You have one minute to choose which 5 team members will solve this problem.


This is a two part problem.  In part 1, you will have 7 minutes to build your solution and practice.  In part 2, you will have 1 minute to present your solution to the judges.

Your problem is to build a prop that can accomplish a task. The task must be to accomplish one of the following:

  1. Change color or appear to change color
  2. Travel or appear to travel 
  3. Dance or give the appearance of dancing
  4. Make a sound effect.

These tasks may not be accomplished by a team member directly, but must be accomplished by a device or prop the team builds.  You will be given materials with which to construct your prop. Only these materials may be used.  Left over materials may be used in your presentation of the prop. The scissors may not be used.

You may present the task in any way you want to the judges.  Be Creative!!!

Score will be as follows:

Creativity of the prop and how the task is accomplished: 1-20
Appearance of the prop and the task: 1-10
Creativity of the presentation of the task: 1-15
Creative use of materials: 1-15
Teamwork: 1-20

You have seven minutes to build your solution and practice.

(Judge gives a copy of the problem to the team)

Time begins now.


Give teams the following materials: A variety of magic markers or crayons, 5 paper plates, 3 dowel rods, 10 sheets of construction paper, 1 sheet of newspaper, 1 strip of tape, 1 spoon, 2 pieces of
cardboard different sizes, 5 rubber bands, 5 straws, 2 rulers 2 pieces of string, 4 socks.

Also give them 2 pairs of scissors.

If the team begins to build a solution in which a team member dances, makes a sound effect, travels, etc., remind them that a team member may not perform the task the prop or device must perform the task, or appear to perform it.