Students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology hope to ‘break away,’ go ‘around-the-world,’ and ‘loop the loop’ today as the annual TechnoBrain contest gets underway.

This year’s competition will have onlookers looking up and down as students try to break records with their homemade giant yo-yos.

TechnoBrain is a contest that presents students with an original engineering mission, inspired by real-life engineering problems.

The official name of the contest is Dr. Bob’s TechnoBrain Competition. It is sponsored annually by Dr. Robert Shillman, who did his graduate work at the Technion, in memory of Neev-ya Durban, the promising engineering student and IDF officer who created it. Durban was murdered in Tel Aviv in March 2003.

Last year’s contest had students design and launch objects from a 39-ft. high, swinging pendulum.

So, what’s on the bill today? A giant yo-yo on a 65-foot rope, a nearly 100-foot tall crane, and the creative minds of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology students.

The yo-yos are being touted as “the world’s longest” and will feature bodies (discs and axles) designed and constructed by the competitors from a myriad of materials and a dynamic rope supplied by Technobrain organizers. The yo-yos will be released from a special drop-floor compartment at the top of the crane; competitors are not allowed to utilize any external energy sources.

Winners will be determined by the maximum height the yo-yo reaches on its first ascent after release from the crane, and the number of times it loops up and down to a minimum of more than 16.5 feet.

First, second and third place winners will receive small monetary prizes.