My name is Jacob Miller. I am a senior at Santa Monica High School and I am part of the PLTW engineering program. Some of the goals I have for this class include competing in the 2019 JPL Invention Challenge, creating a genuinely good product for the capstone project, and to hopefully learn a little bit along the way.


  • Simple Invention Project: The Lazy Susan

  • JPL Invention Challenge

  • JPL Poster

  • JPL Reflection

JPL Invention Challange

Update #1

We have decided to transport the ping pong balls close to the mason jar before launching the balls. We plan on using a very powerful fan in order to send the ball at a very high speed. We will then slow down the ball with a funnel and bounce it off of an angled piece of wood. so that. The purpose of this is to make sure that the ball is being dropped at a constant speed so that it will land in the jar every time.

Update #2

Over the past few weeks, we have made many subtle and simple changes to our design in order to make it more precise and efficient. We changed the shape of our funnel from circular to octangular to decrease the time the balls spend in the funnel. We have also rebuilt most of our base with sturdier parts in order to make the ping pong balls more accurate. The final change we have made was adding a laser system in order to help us align our system with the mason jar much quicker. I specifically worked on the laser system and stabilizing the base. We have done several full tests to see how accurate our system is and the most recent one resulted in 8 of the 10 balls making it into the jar successfully.