01-29
April 18, 2001

For more information, contact:
Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347, or
Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Middle School Magnetic Levitation (Maglev) Contest To be Held at Brookhaven Lab, April 25

EVENT: Five categories of model Maglev vehicles built by Long Island middle school students will be tested for speed, efficiency and appearance at the Eleventh Annual Middle School Magnetic Levitation Contest. Maglev, the suspension, guidance and propulsion of vehicles by magnetic forces, was invented and patented in 1968 by Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists Gordon Danby and James Powell.

Media are invited to the contest. Although students and teachers will be present, the event is closed to the general public because of space limitations.

WHEN: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 25

WHERE: Brookhaven Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Lab is located on William Floyd Parkway (County Road 46), one-and-a-half miles north of Exit 68 of the Long Island Expressway.

DETAILS: Over 150 middle school technology students from Nassau and Suffolk Counties have entered the 2001 contest. (A list of participating schools is attached.) Hosted by the Laboratory, the contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Hofstra University Center for Technology Education, the Long Island Technology Association, the Nassau Technology Association, and the Suffolk Technology Education Association.

Maglev may solve today's traffic congestion problems. Maglev vehicles float over a fixed track, supported and driven by magnetic fields. Maglev is like flying, with lift provided by magnets instead of wings. While barely leaving the ground, a Maglev vehicle may go as fast as an airplane.

Students were required to design and construct model Maglev vehicles according to engineering specifications. Students recorded their design process (ideas, successes and failures) in "design briefs," which also count in the judging process. Scores of handmade, unique vehicles zooming down Maglev tracks, cheered on by hundreds of enthusiastic students will provide excellent visuals.
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