OPERATION CATAPULT

up-up-and-away

team of young men created the pen casing and ink delivery system.
  "This was a magical project that couldn't have been done alone by any one of them-or me," assesses Associate Professor of Chemistry Rebecca DeVasher, Ph.D., the groups' faculty mentor. "I knew it would be challenging, but I was confident that bright and highly motivated students could get it done."
  Another innovative project had four students developing an intricate pulley and belt system that utilized one motor to power two fans for lifting and moving a model hovercraft.
  "The system was revolutionary, a first-of- its-kind (for the program)," says John Beutter of Los Altos, Calif. "When we heard that it hadn't been done, we just had to do it."
  The hovercraft did exceptionally well in the final speed and obstacle course races. However, victory isn't the program's goal- it is to motivate young minds into becoming the problem-solvers paving the world's technological frontier.
  "It was nice to learn something as a team," remarks Julie Martin of Singapore, who used wind and water tunnels for the

floating-their-boat

first time to study the characteristics of flapping wings. "I now feel that I actually know what I can do in engineering."
  Admission to Operation Catapult is highly selective with academic requirements being similar to those for admission to Rose-Hulman. Approximately 35 percent of the program's participants return to study on campus.
  Alumnus Jon Edmondson (PH, '80/ MSAO, '88) wanted his daughter, Kyra, to share the same Operation Catapult experience he enjoyed during the summer of 1975. He has become a principal engineer for the Raytheon Corporation.
  "Operation Catapult really turned me on to the endless possibilities that engineering had to offer. I wanted (Kyra) to figure out what she wants to do and where she might want to attend college," Edmondson says.
  Kyra's campus experience included helping her team create a mechanical device that carries a small package by climbing handrails.
  "It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience," she said on the last day of the June session. "I'm definitely more interested in attending Rose-Hulman."
  No doubt, Herman Moench and Al Schmidt would be proud.