ST. BONAVENTURE — With an added Girl Scouts division and a little help from the Department of Physics, over 180 students across Western New York participated in the sixth annual Dream It Do It 500 competition.
The rubber band-powered car competition began six years ago on St. Bonaventure’s campus, and has now grown to be a nationally recognized event.
Participants included high schoolers, middle schoolers and Girl Scouts from the WNY area, some even traveled two hours just to be at the competition.
“It’s been a great turnout, and with the Girl Scouts it creates an overall better ratio to the event, in year’s past it’s been mainly boys who participate, but this year it’s awesome to see all the Girl Scouts learning more about engineering,” said Makenzie Evans, ENACTUS vice president and co-event coordinator of the event.
Both Dream It Do It WNY organizers and St. Bonaventure University’s business club ENACTUS work together every year to plan the STEM competition. The divisions are split up into teams and then are given two and a half hours to build cars with materials such as wooden dowels, cardboard and foam cutouts. This year, however, veterans had to incorporate motors in their design- a physics element. Students use their man-made cars to race in a competition to measure distance and how much weight it can carry.
Evelyn Sabina, DIDI-WNY project coordinator, noted how hard everyone works to put this event together every year- the ENACTUS students, engineers, and now the St. Bonaventure Department of Physics.
“I think it’s been absolutely wonderful, everything has been running very smoothly so far,” added Sabina.
Christian Gravius, fellow ENACTUS vice president and co-coordinator, said that this event allows students to further develop their teamwork skills.
“It’s really cool to see the kids work together on this project; some are first-timers to the event and just learning about engineering, while others have done this numerous times before and arrive with a strategy in mind,” said Gravius.
Both Gravius and Evans took over coordinating the event this year after Hannah Pingelski, a St. Bonaventure student and one the presidents of ENACTUS, had been in charge in years past.
“We certainly had big shoes to fill with no previous experience planning this event, but Hannah has been a great advisor and a ton of fun to work with,” said Evans.
Each division of high schoolers, middle schoolers and Girl Scouts had first, second and third place winners awarded to their team. Prizes included a $50 Visa gift card, a $25 Visa gift card, and bowling and ice cream passes to Good Times in Olean.
“Overall the kids had fun, and that’s what matters most,” said Gravius.