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University, middle school racers face off

November 01, 2011 12:00AM

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PSU students, left to right: Rachel Hartley, Michael Dow, Brandon Roark, Hank Chrisman, Ryan Boswell, Adam Kaufman, Kerra Tener and Ryan Thies.

On Monday, Pitt State technology and engineering education students made last-minute adjustments to CO2 dragsters they have built in preparation for a big race. On Tuesday, the PSU students will go head to head with an equally determined group of eighth grade technology and engineering students at Joplin's East Middle School and they expect the competition to be tough.

The race, dubbed "Grudge Match at Gorilla Ridge," is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the middle school. The cars will race on an elevated, electronically controlled track constructed in the school's commons area.

Mike Neden, associate professor in technology and workforce learning at PSU, said the exercise is more than just fun.

"Students in our engineering and design and organization and management classes are learning how to teach specific concepts and how to organize and manage educational events," Neden said. "The middle school students have the opportunity to learn about technology and engineering by building and racing the cars."

Neden said the cars for the competition were donated by Pitsco, a co-sponsor of the event. In addition, Franklin Tech and the East Middle School PTO will provide free hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks.

In conjunction with the race, area drag racers from MoKan Dragways will show their real dragsters outside the commons area.

©2011 Pittsburg State University