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March 25, 2011 1:38 PM

Conestoga Students Drop the Dime on Hunger

Marshmallow men walking the plank and honey bears dueling on deck.

Those were two key details on the 3D dime that earned a group of Conestoga students honourable mention at the fourth annual CANstruction competition and fundraiser for the Food Bank of Canada.

The event showcased designs from architects, engineers, and students at Conestoga Mall this March. Teams battled for the best and boldest constructions, made entirely with edible items that were donated back to the Food Bank.

A sail of Twinings Earl Grey teabags sat atop a ship of canned beans for their entry, Every Dime Counts. At the base, the dime’s silver face was made with tuna cans. In all it took 2630 cans and 4.5 hours to build.

But competing in CANstruction involves a lot more than a few hours of assembly.

It took 25 student volunteers from Conestoga’s Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Technology program six months of planning and $3000 in fundraising to prepare for the build.

It’s a big commitment but offers many rewards, said Jim Gerrard, project coordinator and professor at Conestoga College.

“There’s a sense of camaraderie to pull together an interesting design scene or a challenge that not everyone can do: building something out of cans.”

The task is tough and the competition stiff. Students are up against industry professionals and no one is grading on a curve.

Still, Conestoga students have won an award in three out of four years, which shows their desire and ability to compete at the same level as professions, Gerrard said.

“They want to try to do better than everybody else and show that they might be as good if not better than some of the actual industry teams out there like architects, engineers, and other designers.”

CANstruction is the kickoff of the Food Bank’s spring drive and will help feed roughly 3700 people in Waterloo Region.

“It’s a great organization,” Gerrard said. “It’s a great thing that the students get involved with. It’s awesome for the community.”

Story and pictures by Lindsay Johnston, a first-year student in Conestoga’s Journalism program

Conestoga students drop the dime on hunger
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