November 23, 2010 – The 14th annual Magnetic Levitation (MAGLEV) competition for middle and high school students sponsored by Dutchess Community College was held Nov. 18 and broke all previous attendance counts, with approximately 120 students. Participating schools included Linden Avenue Middle School, Webutuck Middle School, Union Vale Middle School, George Fischer Middle School and Red Hook High School.
Participants designed a car that uses magnets to levitate itself and a propulsion system, such as a battery-powered fan, a wind sail or a balloon. The students then built the cars and raced them on tracks lined with oppositely charged magnets to keep the vehicles afloat.
Students worked with teachers in classes or clubs to design and build the 16 by 2.5-inch cars that were judged for speed in three competition categories: wind powered, self-propelled (balloon, rubber band, electric motor, etc …) and electrified track. An appearance category tested students’ modeling skills and design aesthetics.
Four categories awarded first-place trophies in both middle and high school divisions. Lauren Macdonald from Union Vale Middle School and Patrick Martin from Red Hook High School won in the Electrified Rail category; Matthew Witman from Union Vale Middle School and Michael Pero from Red Hook High School took home first place in the Self-Propelled (battery) category; Richie Liguori from Union Vale Middle School and Kyle Jennings from Red Hook High school came out on top in the Self-Propelled (rubber band) category; and Linden Avenue Middle School student Trent Truitt and Michael Stanhope from Red Hook High School won in the Wind category. Two categories – Self-Propelled (balloon) and Appearance- included only middle school participants. Winners were Meghan LaTuso and Mackenzie Hobel-Furrer, respectively, from Union Vale Middle School.
The competition is sponsored by Commercial Instruments and Alarm Systems, Inc., the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Wagner Technical Services, Inc. and DCC’s Department of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Technology.
For more information about the annual competition, call MAGLEV program co-chair Dan Barbuto at (845) 431-8412 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1957, Dutchess Community College is a two-year community college with more than 50 years of service to the residents of Dutchess County. Visit www.sunydutchess.edu.