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 24th annual Middle School Maglev Contest held at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory on March 19. Students from Center Moriches Middle School won five awards, Longwood and West Babylon Junior High School students each won three, and Great Neck South Middle School won two. 

Gordon Danby and James Powell, retired Brookhaven Lab scientists, invented and patented maglev — the suspension, guidance, and propulsion of vehicles by magnetic forces. Powell was an honored guest at the contest and gave a brief talk encouraging students to pursue 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. 

More than 100 students from six Long Island middle schools entered the contest, in which they were required to design and construct model maglev vehicles according to engineering specifications in a 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.

"I am extremely proud of our students at West Babylon for all their hard work and dedication," said Anthony Perillo, chairperson of Family and Consumer Science and Technology at West Babylon Junior High School. "Maglev is an exciting project that exposes our young learners to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math."

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BNL Scientific Judges

  • John Biemer
  • Carter Biggs (John)
  • Lenny DeSanto
  • Salvatore DiStefano
  • James Kierstead
  • Don Lynch
  • Sport Moran
  • Ariel Nunez


  • Marcelle Brown
  • Becky Luck
  • Jessica McKenna
  • Kira Schulthesis
  • Susan Sears
  • Michele Theroux

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