During New Jersey Institute of Technology’s annual fall festival – known as NJIT Day – student teams will compete in a catapult-building contest. The night before the contest, five teams will be given piles of junk – wood planks, wheels, rods, rope, bolts, baskets, etc. For the next 18 hours, the teams will use their engineering savvy to transform these materials into old-fashioned catapults. Modeled after the TV show Junkyard Wars, the contest is called Junkpile Wars. The teams will fire bean bags from the catapults at a target placed on the campus green, and a panel of NJIT deans will select the best-built and most accurate-shooting catapult.
The catapult contest is just one of several events that make NJIT Day the most enjoyable day of the school year for students, staff, faculty and alumni. NJIT Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on the campus green. The catapult contest will run from 2-3 p.m.
“NJIT Day is a showcase of who we are as a university community,” said Jack Gentul, dean of students. “It gives an opportunity to see our many facets and the ways in which we work together.”
Live music, including a battle of the bands, will be the soundtrack for the day, and cooks in four large tents will grill heaping portions of barbecued food. There will be a chili contest, sponsored by the NJIT Young Alumni Club, with chili samplers voting for their favorite chili recipe. For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.njit.edu.
Other highlights of the day include an electronic gaming exhibition, where participants will play student-created computer games and then vote on their favorite games. There will be a tournament for people who want to play and compete in computer games.
NJIT soccer will be a big part of the day. At 10:30 a.m., the NJIT women’s soccer team will play Caldwell College on the university’s newly resurfaced soccer field. The NJIT men’s team, now part of Division I, plays Oneonta University at 3 p.m.
Students, faculty, staff and alumni will also test their athletic and academic prowess in a variety of games, including a caber toss, a traditional Scottish contest in which players toss a tall heavy cylinder. Student teams will compete in a tricycle race. Two days before the contest, teams will be given tricycles. They will be permitted to modify the bikes – the gearing and the wheels - as long as they don’t add a motor. There will be a tug of war in which staff and faculty will square off against students.
The NJIT Day Art Show, a showcase of original artwork by NJIT faculty, staff and students, will be on display in the campus center. The art show will include drawings, video clips, video-game character design, architectural drawings, watercolor and animation. The Art Show will be in the lobby of the campus center.
Children will frolic the day away playing various games and activities in a specially designed Kid’s Zone: mega-musical chairs, face painting, three-legged races and sack races are some of the games that will keep children amused.
“From soccer to catapult construction and competition, from the Highlander Games to the art show,” said Gentul, “NJIT Day brings together our many disciplines and many expressions of the Highlander spirit.”