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Apr 26 2010

NYIT Hosts Second Annual Creative Contraptions Competition

Old Westbury, N.Y. (April 26, 2010) – New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) will host the second annual Creative Contraption Competition on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at its Old Westbury campus.

Five teams, each comprising three undergraduate and graduate students, will compete in this year’s competition, which is sponsored by NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences and Roslyn Savings Bank. The competition was designed to provide a forum for education, innovation, and teamwork. It challenges students to build and program a robotic contraption to navigate a given amount of water through an obstacle course and deliver it to a designated destination.

Each team must include one female member, as the purpose of the competition is to encourage the participation of women in the science and engineering fields. To begin, teams were given a Lego NXT 2.0 kit and a budget of $300. The individual designs and programming of the robotics will differ among teams and will be presented to judges through visual presentations.

“The Creative Contraption Competition demonstrates to current and prospective female students interested in pursuing degrees in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences that NYIT is an institution where they will find the necessary academic and peer support while engaging in challenging opportunities such as this competition,” said Angela Delcid, director of International Admissions at NYIT and a competition coordinator. “Competitions such as this help prepare them to serve as career women who will utilize their degrees to positively impact our global society.”

Providing water to communities in under-developed regions is a task that falls predominantly to the least powerful individuals in the community– young girls and women. This single responsibility often prevents them from attending school and receiving an education. The Creative Contraption Competition was developed out of the recognition that something as simple as moving water can be an obstacle to advancement for an entire segment of a community, and overcoming such adversity creates tremendous opportunity.

“It’s a rare moment when one event provides an opportunity to raise awareness of a global issue, while challenging students to apply classroom knowledge to solve real world problems,” said Dan Rapka, Creative Contraptions advisor and mechanical engineering lab instructor at NYIT. “Plus, we might have a little fun, too.”

The competition will be judged by NYIT alumna Stella Stephanian (B.S. ’85), product manager of PCK Technology Inc.; NYIT alumna Gloria Russo (M.S. ’04), manager of environmental planning and compliance in the system safety department of the Long Island Rail Road; and Mary Frost Distler, who is currently participating in NYIT’s Women’s Pathways Project, a new course offered by NYIT to encourage Long Island’s professional women with technical, scientific, and financial backgrounds to move forward into green industries and green careers.

NYIT students in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences are frequent participants in competitions throughout the United States to showcase their technological innovations through team efforts, including earning a spot in the 2010 Vex Robotics World Championships and participating in two U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored Solar Decathlons in the past six years.
The Creative Contraptions Competition will be held on April 29, 2010, at noon at NYIT’s Student Activities Center, located in the Sports Complex at the Old Westbury campus.

About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and interior design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. For more than 50 years, NYIT has been guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 81,500 students have graduated from NYIT. For more information, visit


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