This is basically a traditional weight to strength challenge with static load. Unlike last year where you had to drop your weights, this year you will be able to 'gently' place your weights on your structure. And while you should show creativity in your performance, there is no score for the creativity of the structure. The basic materials used in the structure ought to be of wood and glue... but it's your structure (remember NO interference is allowed;) so you should make the final decision about what materials to use!
Things to consider:
Stay away from toxic glues. Most wood glues are water soluble.
Choose light but strong wood.
Create a simple design for the structure that you can easy build and test and then replicate for the tournament.
Make sure your structure is level. All vertical columns should be the same height.
Practice placing the weights and taking them off. Send us an email if you would like some help with this.
And remember this challenge is scored as a ratio - weight on plus weight off divided by the weight of your structure.
As for the monster effect, check online for simple ideas like how to make sound and turn on lights using pressure to create your special effects.
Michael Howard, Engineering Challenge Master