Build a Better Hovercraft, Build a Better Engineer

COLLEGE PARK, Md., May 6 — (PRNewswire) — The following is being issued by A. James Clark School of Engineering:


Undergraduate student teams will launch their hand-built, autonomous hovercraft to navigate around a track. The competition caps ENES100, the Clark School's signature course that all engineering students must take in their freshman year. The two-foot hovercraft are constructed of foam, batteries, a LEGO microprocessor, fans, sensors and other components. They must float on a cushion of air, propel themselves forward, open a gate and navigate two turns to successfully compete in the competition.


Freshmen engineering students compete in teams. They will be joined by faculty members of the Keystone Program, which administers the course and competition. Keystone faculty members are among the best teachers in the Clark School and are hand-selected for this course. Teaching fellows--undergraduate students who have already taken the course and are interested in developing leadership skills--also will be on-hand.


Media are encouraged to attend Monday, May 10, starting at 9 a.m. (the competition will last most of the day).  

Students will be working on their hovercraft, testing and competing the entire time.


The rotunda of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building


A. James Clark School of Engineering

University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742


Hands-on challenges are important in order to interest and motivate students to study engineering and the other STEM disciplines. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through this class, students also learn interpersonal skills, problem-solving strategies, confidence and other qualities that will help them throughout the rest of their time as students and as engineers once they graduate. Many students consider this course to be one of their best educational experiences at the Clark School.


Read about the ENES100 course, the hovercraft competition and the Keystone Program in the latest issue of Engineering@Maryland magazine, which is available online:

Hi-res photos from last fall's competition are available with the online version of this advisory:

SOURCE A. James Clark School of Engineering

A. James Clark School of Engineering
Melissa Corley of A. James Clark School of Engineering
Phone: +1-301-405-6501
Phone: +1-804-398-8652 cell
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