I, Will Dube, admit here and now that I am an addict. Actually a third generation addict. Of the game show Jeopardy that is. Some of my earliest memories are watching the show with my father and some of his earliest are watching the older version, with Art Fleming as host, with his mother. To this day I always try to be home by 7:30 p.m., even on Friday nights, to watch the show’s three contestants try to guess the question.
Given my enthusiasm, one could even say obsession, with the series, you can imagine my amazement when Robert Stevens, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, e-mailed me last week to let me know an RIT student team would be featured on the January 23 episode. A Jeopardy crew filmed the students, part of a multidisciplinary senior design team within the College of Engineering, during the Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet Festival held last April in Washington, D.C. The students presented a solar pasteurizer they had designed and built for use in low-income communities in the Third World, where both clean drinking water and electricity are scarce.
Jeopardy filmed a number of student projects from different universities for a category on the festival that ran during Double Jeopardy. Producers ultimately choose to use the RIT team as the $2,000 clue, which happened to be the last one read during that segment of the show. The episode generated tremendous publicity for RIT and also inspired the current crop of senior design students who are developing a new version of the solar pasteurizer and hope to present it at this year’s EPA festival.
I do have to admit that I got the clue featuring RIT wrong. The question was what is pasteurization? It just means I will have to study harder to be ready for upcoming episodes. As I mentioned before I am a Jeopardy addict.
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