rss icon  Keep up with Madison Scholar. Click the orange icon for the RSS feed.

The Fling 2009

Video by Alexandra Lefebvre ('10)and Allison Gould ('10)


Duke Dog Sent Flying for a Good Cause

It looked like East campus had gone to the dogs during Family Weekend, but in a good way.

Countless stuffed Duke Dogs flew over the Astronomy Park as the second annual “The Fling” competition was held. Freshman students from James Madison University’s School of Engineering competed to ‘fling’ their Duke Dog as accurately as possible toward a target 50 feet away.

“Precision and accuracy is the name of the game,” said Dr. Ron Kander, director of the School of Engineering. “The purpose of this is for them to really experience the design process for the first time.”

The competition has been held on the Saturday of Family Weekend for the past two years. Parents and friends watched as students stood in a 10x10 foot ‘batter’s box’ aligned with a target 50 feet away. Each team was allowed five tries in five minutes, allowing extra time for teams that needed to make changes on the fly.

Some teams learned by trial and error and could not get their device to ‘fling.’

“Our furthest launch was eight feet,” explained students Alex Mancil, Jeff Drees, and Emilio Jimenez. Their team, “Well it looks cool” won Best Financial/Economics Score and the PETA Award for least harm done to the duke dog.

At the end of the competition a panel of 16 industry judges chose the ultimate winner. Teams were judged on demonstrated performance, economics, environmental impact and collaboration. Travis Knight, Greg Kitchin, and Neil McNulty of team “Caitlin” took the overall first place.

“They get a chance to understand why we’re teaching them the great systematic, organized design process to design good products and processes,” says Dr. Kander. “That’s the main point.”

Other winners were:

  • Honorable Mention
    Gail Moruza, Valerie Wade, Chris Lundquist and Jake Gephart
  • Best Environmental Impact/Sustainability
    "The Praying Mantis"
    Sara Bethel, Hillary Benedict and Thomas Brus
  • Best Team Collaboration
    "The Madi-pult"
    Brandon Cash, Ian MacIsaac, Matt Wisniewski and Richard Arena
  • Best Technical Performance
    "Bounty Hunters"
    Katherine Brown, Jessica Aquilino and Aaron Corn
  • 3rd Place Overall Design
    "Big Bertha"
    Shannon Smith, Grant Haskins and Chris Nutbrown
  • 2nd Place Overall Design
    "Tres Caballeros"
    Brandon Journell, Ethan Thompson and Josh Werner

Published October 2009