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Tulsa Area Students Put their Engineering Skills To The Test

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This is the third year Rachel Langley has brought her class to compete in the challenge. This is the third year Rachel Langley has brought her class to compete in the challenge.
The kids have 3 ½ hours to build a battery powered boat using a piece of Styrofoam, and then the fastest one to go down a ten foot long trail, wins. The kids have 3 ½ hours to build a battery powered boat using a piece of Styrofoam, and then the fastest one to go down a ten foot long trail, wins.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

It's National Engineers Week, and hundreds of Tulsa area students are putting their skills to use during the Annual OSU Tulsa Engineering Design Challenge.

Their goal is to build boats and make them go as fast as possible.

It started 10 years ago, the OSU Tulsa Engineering Design Challenge. And since then, it's grown from hosting about 25 kids to 220.

"We have our class competition and me and my partner won that so if we use the same design, then hopefully we'll win," said Brian Bruns, Jenks 10th grade student.

The kids have 3 ½ hours to build a battery powered boat using a piece of Styrofoam, and then the fastest one to go down a ten foot long trail, wins.

"What makes the competition kind of interesting, it works a lot like Nascar. Everybody gets the same motor with the same battery, so it really comes down to how you design your boat to who gets the fasted one," said Rachel Langley, Jenks High School chemistry teacher.

This is the third year Rachel Langley has brought her class to compete in the challenge.

"It helps me engage kids that don't normally fit in class. The book work and the math kind of scares kids off but if you let them play with tools and knives and glue and things then they get excited, so it's a fun thing to do," Langley said.

And although some boats got off to a slow start, others flew down the track. Most of these students agree that learning this way is much better than the traditional classroom setting.

"I think it's a lot better because we get to do something that's hands on and it's more exciting and there's competition behind it," Bruns said.

The fastest boat of the day completed the track in 6.6 seconds. That beats the record of 6.8 seconds.

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