Contact

Cody Howard
School of Engineering
785-864-2936

High school competitors to share secret agent devices at engineering contest

Mon, 11/04/2013

LAWRENCE — Hundreds of high school students from around Kansas and the Kansas City metro area are scheduled to compete Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the University of Kansas School of Engineering High School Design Competition. 

This year’s main event, sponsored by Halliburton, sports the secret agent theme “License to Build” and spans a broad range of technical fields, focusing on mechanical and civil engineering. Teams are required to construct at their schools a small automobile-like device capable of completing an air test, a land test and a water test. The competition brings all teams together for a head-to-head contest to determine the best designs.

Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. at Horejsi Family Athletics Center, and from there students will be sent a specific location at the engineering complex for the first of the three contests. The land race competition will take place in Eaton Hall in the Spahr Engineering Classroom.  The parachute drop air competition is planned for the atrium area at the Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center.  The water competition – where devices will pick up simulated water mines – will take place in the courtyard between Learned Hall and Eaton Hall.  Click here for the rules.

A separate competition for teams interested in robotics and programming will take place from 9:45 a.m. to noon in the Gridiron Room of the Burge Union. The Lego Mindstorm competition requires teams to build a robot to complete three different challenges relating to spy boot camp. The Lego Mindstorm competition awards will be announced in Spahr Classroom at 1 p.m., prior to the High School Design Competition awards ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 1:30.

Lego Mindstorm rules and a course diagram and be seen here.

Lunch and competition T-shirts will be provided to all participants.

List of participating schools:

  • Atchison High School
  • Baldwin High School
  • Basehor Linwood
  • Belton High School Freshman Center
  • Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
  • Council Grove High School
  • Frontenac High School
  • Gardner Edgerton High School
  • Great Bend High School
  • Halstead High School
  • Junction City High School
  • Kansas Academy of Mathematics & Science
  • Labette County High School
  • Free State High School
  • Lawrence High School
  • Maranatha Christian Academy
  • Maur-Hill Mount Academy
  • McLouth High School
  • Neodesha
  • Northeast Magnet
  • Odessa High School
  • Prairie View
  • Remington High School
  • Riley County High School
  • Rolla High School
  • Royal Valley High School
  • Seaman High School
  • Spring Hill High School
  • Tonganoxie High School
  • Topeka High School
  • Washburn Rural
  • Wellsville High School
  • Wichita Heights.


Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times