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04-03-1998

Monkeying Around: Clarkson Students To Demonstrate Latest Projects April 7

POTSDAM, N.Y. – In the tradition of Alka Seltzer-powered boats, rubber band-powered cars, and robots who hit golf balls just like Tiger Woods, the sophomore students of Clarkson University Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Professor Steven W. Yurgartis' Introduction to Engineering Design course will be engaged in some "monkey business" on Tuesday, April 7. That's when students will show off their latest projects in Science Center Room 111 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Students have been assigned to design, build and show off a device capable of simulating a monkey climbing up to the top of a tree, which, in this case, is a 12-foot rope. The goal for each device is to climb that rope and remain there. Four points are awarded for every full foot that the device has ascended when it comes to a complete stop. The projects must be small enough to fit in a 1' x 1' x 2' box and are powered by five stretched #33 rubber bands.

A look at the list of permissible construction materials for the project reveals a collection of household and hardware items that read like MacGyver's shopping list: aluminum foil, Scotch tape, plastic straws, household sponges, paper clips, wires from coat hangers, plastic from milk and soda bottles, sewing thread spools, pencil erasers, and-- this IS Clarkson after all!-- hockey pucks.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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