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University of Maryland at College Park to Co-Host

University of Maryland at College Park to Co-Host

Outstanding middle and high school student teams from eight states will be traveling to the University of Maryland at College Park to compete in a three-day National Engineering Design Competition sponsored by the MESA USA program. The event will be hosted by Maryland MESA in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory from June 22-24, 2007.

A dinner event and the judging of academic displays will take place on Friday, June 22 at 8:00 pm at the College Park’s School of Engineering. On Saturday, June 23rd, the main event, a Multi-task Trebutchet Challenge, will take place at Richie Coliseum. The trebuchet was the dominant siege weapon in Europe from 850AD to 1350AD, lasting 100 years after the introduction of gunpowder. The trebuchet operates by harnessing the potential energy of a suspended weight, and demonstrates many physical principals. Since there are multiple variables in the design which can be adjusted to optimize range and throw-weight, the trebuchet challenge offers the students a unique opportunity to explore the application of physics with respect to distance, speed, force, trajectory and targeting. Performance trials of these projects will take from 9:30 - 2:30 p.m. at UMCP.

In addition, an awards ceremony, sponsored by Northrup Grummon, will be held where competition winners will be announced at a breakfast from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 24, at the University of Maryland University College Marriott Inn and Conference Center Hotel, located at 3501 University Boulevard East, in Adelphia, Maryland.

Maryland MESA and all MESA USA programs seek to promote Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement amongst students in grades K-12. While the MESA program is accessible to all students in participating states, Maryland MESA also seeks to attract students from groups who have been traditionally underrepresented in these fields. The students on the competing teams will be selected after rigorous preliminary competitions in their home states, including local, regional, and state contests involving thousands of other middle and senior high school students.

The contest was developed to challenge students’ creativity while testing their command of physics and math principles. The curriculum behind the contest is mapped to appropriate grade level standards. The competition also requires preparation of an academic display, a technical paper, and an oral presentation.

November 6, 2006

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