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North Country Middle & High School Students Win at Clarkson University Roller Coaster Competition

A successful year of engineering design and creativity culminated in the Clarkson University Integrated Math and Physics for Entry to Undergraduate STEM (IMPETUS) Program Roller Coaster Competition this month.

Roller Coaster CompetitionA total of 18 roller coasters were created by teams from 11 North Country school districts.

Colton-Pierrepont Central School's entry, "Son of Beach," placed first at the competition. Carthage Central School's "Sonic Greenhills" finished in second place, and Ogdensburg Free Academy's "Zepplin" scored a close third.

The annual competition challenges middle school and high school students to design and build a model roller coaster from common materials and a marble is used as the car. Each team selects a unique theme that inspires their name and embellishments.

Points are awarded for the longest ride, technical difficulty and artistic merit.

Awards for the yearlong Problem of the Week challenge also were presented. Winners were Michael Bentley from Heuvelton Central School and Anita Vodron from Brasher Falls Central School.

The event is funded through a New York State Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) grant and coordinated by the Clarkson University Shipley Center for Innovation’s  Office of Educational Partnerships.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, 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 innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

Photo caption: Clarkson University’s IMPETUS Program Roller Coaster Challenge was won by a student team from Colton-Pierrepont Central School.  Program faculty coordinators Clarkson Professor of Mathematics Kathleen Fowler (left) and Assistant Professor of Physics Michael Ramsdell (right), present the first place trophy to Danielle Clough (center left) and Lauren Buckley (center right).

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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