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News & Events

09-01-2011

Clarkson University Hosts Sixth Annual Roller Coaster Camp

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/roller-coaster-2011.jpg .]

Clarkson University hosted its sixth annual roller coaster camp this summer as part of the IMPETUS outreach program. 

More than 40 local middle-school and high-school students participated in roller coaster campMore than 40 local middle-school and high-school students participated in the camp, which is funded through a Science and Technology Entry Program grant from the New York State Education Department. The grants focus on preparing K-12 students academically, while inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering.

Students from Canton, Colton-Pierrepont, Harrisville, Herman-Dekalb, Lisbon, Norwood-Norfolk, Potsdam, and St. Lawrence Central schools, and the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club attended the unique three-day camp.

Students learned about the scientific method and how to use equipment such as heart rate sensors, altimeters, and accelerometers to collect data for their own research project during a trip to Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, N.Y.

The highlight of the trip was a presentation by Frank Hardick, an engineer who was a member of the design team for the Comet, a large wooden roller coaster at the park. He explained the mathematics and physics involved in roller coaster design and safety. 

Finally, students presented their research projects to members of the Clarkson community and took part in an awards ceremony.

A team of Clarkson University professors, including David Wick, Kathleen Fowler, Michael Ramsdell, and Peter Turner, was recently awarded $211,683 by New York State Education Department to continue the IMPETUS for Career Success program. IMPETUS stands for Integrated Math and Physics for Entry to Undergraduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

The program provides enrichment activities, college and career exploration, mentoring, and support for individual research projects. The key components are an after-school program with monthly visits to the Clarkson campus, in addition to the summer roller coaster camp.

The IMPETUS program builds on a historically successful partnership between Clarkson University, St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Education Services, and local school districts. It is supported by Clarkson’s Office of Educational Partnerships.

The program is committed to leveraging the educational expertise of Clarkson’s science and engineering faculty and students to improve the quality of public school education in Clarkson's region of northern New York.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[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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