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Hammond takes top honors at Clarkson’s MythOlympics

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POTSDAM - The marble rolled, the dominoes fell, the truck rolled, the water flowed, the balloons rose, the volcano erupted, the flower popped up and everyone cheered.So went the release of energy in true Rube Goldberg style at the first MythOlympicsheld at Clarkson University. Six teams from local high schools competed in this year’s challenge which had a biomimicry theme.Carthage Central School won the overall competition with Hammond Central School winning the Rube Goldberg Machine event.

The MythOlympic Games is a partnership between the Alcoa Foundation and Clarkson University to promote science, math, and engineering education through hands-onexperiences that will improve the technical competence of the North Country’s future workforce.

Teams of high-achieving students were challenged to debunk the myth that “designs created in nature are more efficient and effective than those created by humans.” Students were presented with the Myth Challenge in the fall and were required to design experiments to test the myth.

They worked collaboratively to develop experiments, to write a scientific paper based on their results and to document their progress in a video production, similar to the popular Myth Busters television show. The Rube Goldberg Machine component challenged their creative energyand technical skills.

The competition was coordinated by Shane Rogers, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Michele Crimi, associate professor in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, with support from the Office of Educational Partnerships.

Clarkson University professors judged the research reports, video productions, and Rube Goldberg Machines to identify the top team in each category, the composite scores of whichdetermined the winning team.

In addition to the winning teams, students participated from Massena Central, Ogdensburg City, Parishville-Hopkinton Central and Potsdam Central School Districts.All student participants were awarded $1,000 per year scholarships to Clarkson University.Students on the winning teamreceived an additional $4,000 per year scholarship to Clarkson University.

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