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Local News

April 2, 2014

Dragsters mark engineering event

DUNCAN — The deep thinkers of Duncan’s manufacturing world have figured out how to get the attention of our youth -- off them cash prizes to build something that will go way fast.

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, they’ll see the results in the Duncan High School gym when hundreds of kids from 7th to 12th grade unleash the pint-sized  CO2-powered dragsters they have built.

Each dragster body is honed from a piece of balsa wood. It’s up to each student to design what they look like, within certain parameters. They can be anywhere from 200  to 305 millimeters long with a total weight of 40 to 65 grams.

Professional engineers in the Duncan area judged the entries on Monday night and the students were allowed to make modifications, if necessary, on Tuesday and today to prepare for the drag races on Thursday.

The exercise in engineering is sponsored by the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation and some of its manufacturing partners. Participation in the event has grown steadily since 2008, when it first started, said Lyle Roggow, DAEDF president.

The first year, 17 students entered. This year 395 entered.

“The key is to teach them to be free thinkers,” said Jeannie Bowden, a business and industry specialist with DAEDF.

Of course, a little extra incentive helps in the creative process. Cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 are offered in three categories of the engineering competition.

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