Niles High student to present creation at U. New England symposium

Published 4:17 am Saturday, May 10, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A Niles High School 10th grader and his friend, Aaron Wendzell, who both attend the Berrien County Math and Science Center, have created an Electromagnetic Pulse Generator.
Their creation has resulted in an invitation to a science symposium at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine, where they will hold a presentation for professors and peers about their project.
Wendzell is a 10th grader at Dowagiac Union High School.
At the same time, Aycock is excited to see what his peers are doing and what they have come up with, he said.
They were asked to attend the symposium by the Math and Science Center's Senate Director, Dennis Lundgren.
The Expo was held in Benton Harbor in late April.
Aycock, who is a sophomore, said the basic theory behind their project was created by Nicolas Tesla, a scientist who lived in the 19th century.
What they have done, basically, is to create a generator that overloads electrical circuits, he said.
Aycock said as electricity goes through the generator, it creates an electromagnetic field that when the electricity is cut by a transformer, collapses and shoots out.
The beam that is shot out has no effect on humans, and Aycock said the amount of electricity would have to be far greater than what they are able to administer for it to cause any harm.
Aycock said the generator is controlled with a control unit that Wendzell, his partner, created.
Aycock estimates he alone spent 50 to 60 hours physically constructing the pulse generator, that at first eyesight looks like an ordinary telescope.
Neither Aycock or Wendzell have taken physics classes before, which makes their achievement even more impressive.
However, they did receive valuable help from David Maxwell, a high school shop teacher, senior Gary Vigil and sophomore Jacob Ross, he said.
Aycock said the symposium lasts for three days from June 5 to 8.
He said all expenses for the trip have been paid, except for the plain tickets, which they have to pay themselves.
The two students, however, won't travel alone as Lundgren will travel with them.
The trip in June might not be the last trip for Aycock and his friend.
Obviously interested in science, and physics in particular, Aycock said he is ready to start taking classes to prepare him for what he wants to pursue in college.
He said he wants to major in aerospace engineering with a minor in astrophysics.