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Bob Jones places in Can-Structure contest

To fit the space exploration theme, Bob Jones built "Ooo, the Claw," the tiny, alien character from the movie, "Toy Story."

Cans of spaghetti, baked beans and mixed vegetables were building tools for engineering students from Bob Jones High School at the Can-Structure contest.

The Bob Jones students took second place at Can-Structure, held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center on Dec. 3.

Members of the Bob Jones team were Justin Bean, Jacob Locke, Adam Nuwayhid, Brent Rhodes, Brent Spradling and Taylor Steffen.

To fit the space exploration theme, Bob Jones built “Ooo, the Claw,” the tiny, alien character from the movie, “Toy Story.” “Last year, our structure was too complicated or abstract, so we wanted to do something simpler,” sponsor Jeremy Raper said. Raper teaches introductory and advanced engineering classes.

Ooo’s feet were large cans of baked beans, its legs and torso were canned spaghetti and its waist was built from cans of mixed vegetables. “The head and hands were Del-Monte green beans,” Raper said.

For better support, the arms rested to the side. “The students completed the Can-Structure in under two hours. They worked on the ‘claw’ to add extra flair to the project,” he said. “The engineering challenges in designing and building were very real.”

Students enhanced the structure’s creativity by considering label color, size, shape, stacking technique and decorative accessories.

Each team had to decide their strategy and “whether their design will determine what cans they collect, or whether what cans they collect will determine their design,” Raper said.

GMC, an engineering company, and Robins & Morton Construction Professionals coordinated the contest.

For the judging criteria, a panel confirmed that entries represented the space exploration theme and used attention to detail for optimum aesthetics. Judges also reviewed the support in the structure and determined the level of difficulty.

After the contest, the Can-Structures were disassembled, and all canned food was donated to Christmas Charities Year Round to benefit residents of Madison County.

“I’m so very proud of the students and their hard work,” Raper said.

Pope John Paul II Catholic High School won first place.

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