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Robert Moses Middle School Students Win Top Honors at Brookhaven Lab's Maglev Contest

UPTON, NY — Robert Moses Middle School students won eight of the 21 trophies awarded at the annual Middle School Maglev Contest held at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory on March 20. Students from Center Moriches Middle School won five awards, Albert G. Prodell Middle School students won four, and Roslyn Middle School won three. Students from Longwood Middle School received one prize.

Gordon Danby and James Powell, retired Brookhaven Lab scientists who invented and patented maglev — the suspension, guidance, and propulsion of vehicles by magnetic forces — were honored guests at the contest. Powell gave a brief talk to the students, recommending that the students consider studying humanities − literature, music, and art − as well as pursuing a career in science or engineering. Powell predicted that within the next 20 years, a maglev network will be in place in the U.S. that would allow passengers to travel anywhere in the nation at a speed of 300 miles per hour. He also predicted that one day maglev might be used to launch rockets into space. Danby told the students that staying steadfast will help them to achieve extraordinary scientific accomplishments that can impact their generation and generations of the future.

More than 100 students from seven Long Island middle schools entered the contest, in which they were required to design and construct model maglev vehicles according to engineering specifications in their choice of seven categories: electrified track, futuristic, wind power, gravity, self-propelled balloon, self-propelled-other, and scale-model design. Judging was based on speed, efficiency, appearance, and the students' written design process.

The following volunteers from Brookhaven Lab, Stony Brook University, and Long Island Matrix for Science and Technology helped make this year's Maglev Contest a success:

Brookhaven Lab Scientific Judges

  • John Biemer
  • Carter Biggs
  • Mel Cowgill
  • Lenny DeSanto
  • Salvatore DiStefano
  • Yaohua Guo
  • James Kierstead
  • Don Lynch
  • Sport Moran
  • Marty Woodle
  • Doug Zigrosser

Stony Brook University Mechanical Engineering Students/Scientific Judges

  • Yogesh Bedekar
  • Siddhatha Gadiraju
  • Raynold Lewis
  • Di Liu
  • Juan Mesa
  • Mahder Tewolde


  • Marcelle Brown
  • Becky Luck
  • Erin O'Hare
  • Mary Riotto
  • Michele Theroux

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