By Lian Bunny, ’17
St. Bonaventure ENACTUS members are hosting the third annual Dream It Do It 500 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, in the Sandra A. & William L. Richter Center on the university’s campus.
ENACTUS is partnering with the Dream It. Do It. (DIDI) organization to host the event. Evelyn Sabina, the local coordinator for the organization, has provided ENACTUS with contacts for local schools, engineers and companies.
The event is a rubber band-powered car race competition that targets high school students in the Southern Tier. Teams of four students are given two and a half hours to construct cars with the help of local engineers. The cars are raced, measuring distance, accuracy and how much weight they can carry.
After the races, the high school students have 20 minutes to prepare a two-to three- minute marketing pitch, which is presented to university professors and students. The goal is to sell their car to the panel of judges. Teams are judged on their creativity, professionalism and team involvement.
The racing and presentation scores are added together to determine the winning team.
ENACTUS adviser Dr. Todd Palmer said, "The DIDI 500 is a great way for our SBU students to work with local high school students. Our partnership with local manufacturers can make real differences in these students' lives."
This is junior accounting major Mike Pingelski’s third year developing this event.
According to Pingelski, 28 teams of four students are signed up, a total of 112 students in all.
“We created this event because we saw a serious need for students to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) skills at an early age,” Pingelski said. “With St. Bonaventure being located in the Rust Belt, these skills are demanded in order for this area to grow economically.”
Pingelski said the problem is two-fold. Students often leave the area to attend college. Those who do not go to college tend to lack math and technical skills to work in modern manufacturing.
“By creating this event, we are trying to encourage our students to become interested in these manufacturing jobs; and if not interested, they’re at least aware of the importance for skills like these,” Pingelski said.
This year the CEO of DIDI will be observing the event to determine whether Bonaventure’s DIDI 500 should be added to the organization’s practices, elevating it to a nationwide event.
ENACTUS, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that promotes partnership between leaders in business and university students to make a difference in their local communities.
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