9/15/2004

Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU School of Engineering to host 17th annual high school design competition

LAWRENCE -- Just how does Spider-Man use that thin strand to move from one structure to another?

High School students from across Kansas and throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area will be able to create their own weblike magic at the 17th annual University of Kansas School of Engineering High School Design Competition.

The free event will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 25, at Eaton Hall on the KU Lawrence campus, but students will have worked on their version of a web crawler in their hometowns well ahead of the contest.

This year's competition asks the students to form into teams of two or three and design and build a device that can crawl to the end of a 25-foot long horizontal metal cable and back. Student teams will have a lot of latitude in their designs, but the crawler must be constructed by the students, must be less than 12 inches long, must not touch the floor and cannot use a rocket propulsion system for power. Complete rules and details appear on the School of Engineering Web site: www.engr.ku.edu.

Awards will be given for the top three finishing teams. An award also will go to the team that creates the most innovative working design.

The design competition has traditionally drawn hundreds of students and teachers interested in science and engineering. Students also will be able to take tours of School of Engineering facilities and laboratories. Lunch will be provided for all participants this year. Visitors will have a chance to talk with faculty and KU students about the different disciplines of engineering.

Registration is now open. Teachers who want their students to participate should contact Jennifer Schmitendorf at jschmit@ku.edu or (785) 864-2931. The registration deadline is Oct. 8.

The competition is open to all high school students in Kansas or the Kansas City metropolitan area. Teachers must accompany all teams.

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