Technion Students Test Physics with Monster Yo-Yos

Yesterday, the Technion held the largest yo-yo competition ever; not in terms of participants put in terms of the size of the yo-yo.

In a contest to demonstrate laws of physics and test engineering students’ abilities to apply theory to reality, 14 teams built oversized yo-yos.  The rules of the contest were simple.  Each yo-yo would be attached to a 20 meter (65-foot) long rope and raised to the top of a 30 meter tall yellow crane, where they would be wound up.  The yo-yos would be dropped from there.  The winning yo-yo would rebound at least 20 meters – the length of the rope – and win 10,000 shekels. Second and third prizes were worth 5,000 and 3,000 shekels.

Most of the oversized toys were simple, aiming to maximize their efficiency rather than please the judges.  Some of the most colorful yo-yos were designed to looks like an oversize bee and a giant smiling face.

The competition took place on the center of the University’s campus atop Mt .Carmel in Haifa in Northern Israel.  It is sponsored by Techo-Rosh and has been in existence since 2003, following the murder of Niv-Ya Dorban, a student who was murdered in Tel Aviv. The prizes are financed by Dr. Robert Shillman, an alumnus of the Institute.

The winner of the competition was Eyal Moshe Cohen, a mechanical engineering student who built a stainless steel yo-yo that was designed to function like an automobile fly-wheel and thus be able to maximize the momentum from the initial drop.  Second place was taken by Yair Zimmerman and his granddaughter Golan and third prize was snatched up a group known as Kiss.

According to Yaniv Bas, a student at the Technion, the competition was much more complex than it looked because of the physics laws each drop would be demonstrating.  Because of this, students had to carefully select the materials they would use to build their yo-yos.

In an interview after the competition, Cohen said he would use the money to cover basic expenses.