Students win national awards
Two Dickinson students placed in the top 10 during competitions at the 28th annual Technology Student Association National Conference June 21-25 at Dallas, Texas.
Kyle Rummel and Caleb Paulson, who attended Dickinson Hagen Junior High School, placed seventh in the structural challenge competition.
Paulson also placed seventh in the dragster design challenge.
They were among 22 students from Dickinson who attended the event. They were accompanied by two advisors, Erwin VanVeldhuizen and Susan Haider, and three chaperones.
Nearly 5,000 students participated in more than 60 competitive events. The events were based on principles in technology, engineering and mathematics. The association consists of both middle school and high school students.
Rummel is the son of Dean and Danita Rummel, Dickinson, and Paulson is the son of Louie Paulson, Dickinson and David Paulson, Fargo.
They placed first at state in the structural challenge. In this event, students research, design and build a tower. The tower holding the most weight is declared the winner.
In preparing for the event, Rummel and Paulson designed numerous towers which were tested at school. Their best tower held 300 pounds.
They were required to build a tower at nationals within 2½ hours. This taller tower held 193 pounds. They also were required to submit a drawing of the design.
While at nationals, Rummel also entered competitions of dragster, problem-solving and flight challenge.
Mine crashed and burned, he said.
While at Dallas, Rummel enjoyed trading pins with students from around the nation and Germany. He also toured the John F. Kennedy Museum.
When he enrolls at Dickinson High School this fall, he plans to participate in the DHS Technology Club. He hopes to apply his skills at building towers to the bridge challenge.
He said the competitions are an opportunity to have fun and to learn.
Paulson said dragster design challenge begins with a block of wood. The student shapes a race car from the wood. After many hours of sanding and applying coats of paint, the car is ready to be raced.
I put on between 13 and 16 coats. Right at the end, I added a lacquer to make it shiny, he said.
It must be exactly 60 grams, he said. I even added washers to get to 60 grams.
Paulson was disqualified at state because he had too many washers. To prepare for nationals, he started from scratch two months ago. His second car had a flat front and a lower profile.
Paulson credits his success to the design of the car and to a little luck. The cars are raced with CO2 canisters, which may vary in their power.
Theres a little luck and talent, he said.
The race track is about the length of a basketball court.
When I was a nationals, the first race I lost by .001th of a second, he said.
Being double elimination, he won the next five races and lost the seventh race. Of the 120 contestants, Paulson was thrilled to have finished seventh.
At the state competition, Paulson won first in flight challenge and first in structural challenge with partner Rummel.
In preparation for the structural challenge, Paulson said they observed towers.
You ponder which is stronger, a triangle or a square. We looked at how massive towers are shaped, he said.
Paulson also entered competitions in transportation, leadership challenge, problem solving and flight challenge.
I did awesome at state in flight challenge. My glider stayed up for 11.2 seconds. At nationals, the highest was 5.9 seconds, he said.
He was told to use the tools and glue provided at nationals to build the glider. However, other contestants used their own tools. He believes the difference in tools affected the outcome of the flight event.
From the transportation event, Paulson learned the vehicles must be light and fast to win.
He will take his new-found knowledge of the events to DHS, when he participates in Tech Club events.
Ill definintly compete next year, he said. At state, I won two gold medals. At nationals, I won two pins. Only four from North Dakota won. Theres competition in everything.