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Hovercraft Invade Kim Building Again

Left to right: Keystone Professor David Lovell, Team 2Fly (Walter Johnson High School) and Keystone Instructor Stephen Kamakaris. (Photo by Nicole Roop)
Left to right: Keystone Professor David Lovell, Team 2Fly (Walter Johnson High School) and Keystone Instructor Stephen Kamakaris. (Photo by Nicole Roop)

On December 10, 2012, autonomous hovercraft took over the Kim Building rotunda once again during the final of ENES100, "Introduction to Engineering Design." In what is now a semester-end tradition, teams of freshmen launched their colorful, hand-built vehicles, each floating on a cushion of air, to find their way around, and out of, a walled track, while capturing a payload placed on a pedestal on the track.

The competition is sponsored by the Keystone Program, which selects and supports the great teachers who present the course, develops the hands-on, team-centered project, and delivers a unifying experience all Clark School students share. During the competition, faculty members, undergraduate teaching fellows, staff members, interested students, and the occasional parent come to watch and give advice. The competition is also streamed live throughout the day on the Keystone Program’s website.

Eighteen teams qualified for the final round of competition. Out of those, four teams completed the course successfully, led by Team Keystone Flight. The award for most innovative design went to Team Leviosa, while the award for best craftsmanship went to Team 2Fly, which consisted of students from Walter Johnson High School in Montgomery County, Md.

Hands-on projects interest and motivate students to study engineering and the other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. Through this class, students learn interpersonal skills, problem-solving strategies, confidence and other qualities that will help them throughout the rest of their time as students and as practicing engineers. Many students consider this course to be one of their best educational experiences at the Clark School.

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December 12, 2012


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