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Egg-citing contest aimed at future engineers

In promotions for the contest, the students love it when the eggs crack.

But the winners of the 2008 Engineering Challenge Egg Drop Contest are the students with the ability to keep their grade A chicken eggs safe and secure.

Known for providing

Sequim teachers with minigrants and the annual SEF Film Festival each of the past three years, the foundation's board was seeking something to help increase interest in mathematics with their next project, president Dick Hughes said.

"With our film festival, we were reaching the people with an artistic flair ... writers and the kids who wanted to be on stage and do creative things," Hughes says. "We wanted to do something that would inspire the kids in the elementary schools all the way through the higher grades to go into math, go into sciences ... (and) ultimately become mathematicians and scientists we need."

The contest, set for an 8 a.m. registration and 9 a.m. "drop" time on Oct. 4 at Sequim Community Church, is open to all students enrolled in Sequim School District schools.

Students design carriers for the eggs to "survive" a 31-foot drop from the church's catwalk. Winners are based on egg survival, package weight, part count and drop accuracy. (See sequimeducationfoundation.org for full contest rules.)

Scholarships and cash prizes are awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in each elementary school, middle school and high school category.

Time permitting, a final contest will be held between each of the first-place winners above (elementary, middle and high school categories) based solely on egg survival. The eggs are dropped until only one remains unbroken. The winner of the grand prize receives a cash award and a trophy.

More than $7,300 in scholarships and cash prizes is to be awarded to winners.

Preregistration and a $2 fee are required; participants receive a T-shirt while supplies last. Completed applications must be returned by end of school on Sept.26. School representatives are: Dave Hasenpflug, Helen Haller Elementary; Carla Morton, Greywolf Elementary; Jeanette Easling, Sequim Community School; Joe Landoni, Sequim Middle School; and Isaac Rapelje,

Sequim High School.

Already, the foundation has seen a great turnout, says Kathy Schock, foundation board member and contest organizer, spurred on in particular by a rivalry between Sequim's two elementary schools.

"We found in the film festival stimulated creative interest writing and filmmaking - we anticipate this is going to exactly the same thing," Hughes said. "The whole goal of the foundation is to inspire Sequim students to excellence in school and support them."

Sponsors of this first SEF Engineering Challenge, that is expected to become an annual event, include the

Albert Haller Foundation, the Sequim Alumni Association, the Gumby Scholarship Fund, High Energy Metals Inc., In Graphic Detail Printers, Tarciscio's Italian Place Restaurant, Wal-Mart of Sequim, Quadra Engineering Inc.,

Albert Friess, Jon Jack,

Sequim Sunrise Rotary and an anonymous local donor.

The Sequim Education Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established to inspire Sequim public school students to succeed in all areas of their lives. An unpaid volunteer board of directors manages the foundation.

For information about the foundation, call Hughes at 460-7465 or go to the SEF Web site.

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