Fountain Wars Club

Fountain Wars Club

The Fountain Wars Team is open to all students within the department. If you have any question about the team, would like more information, or are interested in joining, contact the faculty advisor Aaron Mittelstet with "ASABE Fountain Wars Team" in the subject line.

Fountain wars team at competition

Team Members:

(back row) Doug RowenCo-Captain Anna SiebeMitch GoedekenCo-Captain Mitch Maguire
(front row) 
Paulina GuzekEllen Emanuel.


Fountain Wars is a hands-on competition in which a team of up to six students design a fountain to complete challenges using the necessary PVC pipes, couplers, fittings, valves, nozzles, and pumps. Awards are based on the combined scores of a written report, oral presentation, video abstract, construction, technical tasks, and aesthetic display. The two assigned tasks for the 2016 competition were “Beach Ball High Jump” and “Rescue the Dolphin.” Similar to previous years’ tasks, the primary constraint of this project is the exclusive use of water power in the final design. Fountain Wars provides students with a valuable experience in design, construction, hydraulics, mechanics, and teamwork.

set up for the competition
Construction of the fountain before the competition. Part of the design process is considering the shipping quidelines provided by ASABE.

ASABE Competition:

Beach Ball High Jump
Action shot from the ASABE competition.

The “Beach Ball High Jump”

The goal for the Beach Ball High Jump task was to launch a beach ball over a high jump standard. The high jump standard started at a height of 5 feet, and with each successful attempt was raised in 1-foot increments up to 8 feet. The UNL design was a water cannon, including a wooden stand, a barrel (10-inch furnace pipe), and a nozzle that created a jet of water to propel the ball. Task points were accumulated based on the number of attempts, the number of successful jumps, and the total accumulated height of successful jumps.

set up for Rescue the Dolphin
Practicing their rescue before the competition begins.

The “Rescue the Dolphin”

The primary objective of this task was to shoot water 6 feet from the pool’s edge into one of two cylinders with a 2-inch diameter opening. Inside the second cylinder, a dolphin was placed, and the task was to fill up the cylinders as quickly as possible. The task was completed when the dolphin reached the top of the second cylinder, where the dolphin was rescued. The design used to complete this task utilized the structure built for the Beach Ball High Jump task, which gave a place to mount the PVC pipe, nozzle, and adjustment system. The adjustment system allowed for both adjustments and stability of the nozzle, which gave the design a higher degree of accuracy.

Photo of the UNL Fountain wars team
The Fountain Wars team with the first place trophy. GO BIG RED!

The UNL Fountain Wars Team took first place in Orlando at the 2016 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting! In the past three years, the UNL team has won twice and placed second once.

You can also see more information about the competition on the ASABE website.


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