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Published: Tuesday, 5/25/2010

Challenges heavy for Delta students on engineer team


DELTA - Calla Gilson has a busy travel schedule the next few weeks. Not only will she go to Maryland for National History Day in June, she is part of a six-student Designation Imagination team headed for Knoxville, Tenn., today to enter a structural-engineering project in worldwide competition.

Challenged to build a structure out of newsprint and glue that was as light as possible while supporting a maximum weight, the Delta team of two four high-school students and two middle-schoolers came up with one that weighed just 54 grams while holding up 575 pounds of pressure in state competition before failing, adviser Jane Foor said.

The "We Can't Decide" team - Calla and fellow middle-schooler Nick Jones, plus high-school students Riley DeBacker, Kegan Scott, Kyle Moll, and Amanda Veransky - also used newspapers to craft wigs, costumes, and props to use for a skit the team performed during the state competition last month.

"We used a lot of The Blade," Ms. Foor joked.

Besides competing against student teams from 47 states and 30 foreign countries, the Delta students will act as "global ambassadors" to a particular team from China to help the visitors feel more comfortable in their U.S. surroundings, the adviser said.

The team will be in Knoxville today through Friday.

It raised $2,000 toward the trip's $7,000 cost with a spaghetti dinner earlier this month.

The team will be holding additional fund-raisers to cover another $2,000 that the school district paid upfront to make the trip possible.

- David Patch

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