By Caroline Power, ’18
St. Bonaventure Enactus members are gearing up to host the fifth annual Dream It. Do It. 500 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday Nov. 19, in the Sandra A. & William L. Richter Center on the university’s campus.
Small cars powered by rubber bands have generated a large crowd to attend this event every year. Just last year, the Dream It. Do It. 500 (DIDI500) was recognized by The Manufacturing Institute as a “best practice” for successfully engaging youth in manufacturing and STEM-related activities.
St. Bonaventure’s Enactus service group has partnered with DIDI Western New York coordinator Evelyn Sabina to host the event at the university for the fifth straight year. The event is a rubber band-powered car race competition that targets high school students in the Southern Tier. Teams of four students construct cars with the help of local engineers in this timed event. The cars are raced, measuring distance, accuracy and how much weight they can carry.
The event starts with an opening ceremony that takes place after registration and once that is over the students have two hours and 45 minutes to build the cars. 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 based upon 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.”
Mike Pingelski, a graduate student at St. Bonaventure, has been developing this event for the past four years and this year his sister, Hannah Pingelski, a junior marketing major, is in charge along with seniors Kathryn McTyre and Adam Ditcher.
According to Pingelski, 50 teams students are signed up; a total of 200 students in all.
“We have a record number of teams and engineers coming for the event. My biggest hope for students who participate is that the DIDI 500 will spark an interest for engineering and they will look to pursue a career in the field,” Pingelski said. “Also, working with local engineers will show them that there is a future for engineering in the Olean area. The event is very competitive between teams, but also has an incredible educational and learning process throughout the 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.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #6 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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