Magnetic Levitation Competition Sets Participation Record

December 1, 2011 – A record-breaking 150 middle and high school students participated in the 18th annual Magnetic Levitation (MAGLEV) competition sponsored by Dutchess Community College’s Department of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Technologies on Nov. 18. Participating schools included Linden Avenue Middle School, Webutuck Middle School, Union Vale Middle School, George Fischer Middle School, Todd 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.

Seven categories awarded first-place trophies. Andrew Mamarella from George Fisher Middle School won in the Electrified Rail category; Elisabeth Misner from Union Vale Middle School took home first place in the Self-Propelled (battery) category; Srishti Reddy from Union Vale Middle School came in first in the Self-Propelled (balloon) category; Julianna Zoussedes from Union Vale Middle School came out on top in the Self-Propelled (rubber band) category; Webutuck Middle School student Joan Calderon won in the Wind category; the High School competition was won by James Wilkinson of Red Hook High School; and the Creative Appearance category winner was Sidney Scoralick from Union Vale Middle School.

For more information about the annual competition, call MAGLEV program co-chair Dan Barbuto at (845) 431-8412 or e-mail barbuto@sunydutchess.edu.

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