Will Lark tastes the thrill of victory.
MIT Professor Ernesto Blanco
tells FRONTIERS, "practically everything in mechanical
design is involved" in Course 2.007, including "a bit of frustration."
At the start of each course, students are asked to build a
machine that can accomplish a certain task as quickly and
efficiently as possible. At semester's end, each creation
competes for the top prize, in a very public and very rowdy
has covered this event for many years, and this year the competition
is a thrilling as ever. The challenge to these young students:
to build a machine that begins by sitting on one end of a
seesaw-like beam and that after 45 seconds, has managed to
bring its side of the beam lower than that of the opponent
on the opposite end. Another catch - they can only create
their device from a box of parts provided, and the machine
can not exceed 10 lbs.
meets some of MIT's creative contestants.
cameras rendez-vous with the students at several points during
the semester, and the ideas taking shape are fantastic in
their scope. Some students are attempting to grab the carpet
to pull their side to victory. Others are relying on a magnet
that is attached to the base and a winch that reels in the
beam. Still others are going for the all-out-aggressor approach,
choosing to drive to the other side, knock their opponent
to the floor, and scurry back before time is called.
the competition begins, many of the students we have followed
survive several heats. But it becomes quickly apparent who
has the most formidable design. Will Delhagen and his friend
Alex Jacobsen have each created a jack that drops to the floor
and raises the opponent's end of the beam, consistently and
without mercy. In the end, they manage to achieve a tie, or
as they say at MIT, a "double win."
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