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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

Oct. 15, 2004
CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman

Attention: Assignment Editor
'Low-Tech' Engineering Competition

The Tools: rubber bands, wooden dowels, foam core board, construction paper, glue
The Goal: move a ping pong ball around a square twice without touching it
The Players: Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering students
When: 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Saturday, Oct. 16, 2004
Where: Outside of Shriver Hall, The Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. (If conditions outside are unsuitable, backup location is inside the nearby Glass Pavilion.)
What: Nine undergraduate teams will each have two minutes to move a ping pong ball twice around a square (at least 12 feet long on each side), without touching it with their hands and without allowing the ball to touch the ground. Each team will use low-tech materials such as foam core (posterboard), rubber bands, construction paper, wooden dowels and glue, to engineer and build ramps, launchers, pipelines and carriages to move the ball around the square. One student can stand at each corner to guide the ball to its next transport device. The students will also measure the effect of stress on heart rate by having team leaders wear monitoring devices.
Why: The goals of the competition are to encourage teamwork and peer-learning(freshmen learn from more experienced student team members) and to help students understand the process of designing, building and testing a project, skills they will need for the more complicated assignments they must complete in the future.

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