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Students used 6 tons of food to build their entry Nov. 8 at d’Art Center

Photo by Bradley Smith Photo by Bradley Smith
TCC engineering students built a "blender with fruit" for the 2006 CANStruction contest.

NORFOLK, Va. (Nov. 10, 2006) - What do you do with 11,700 cans of food? Build a 6-ton structure, of course. At least, that’s what the Engineering Club at Tidewater Community College did - in less than a single day.

With the theme, “Smooth Away Hunger,” TCC students contributed their engineering skills to help raise awareness by creating a huge blender of fruit for the nationwide CANstruction competition held Nov. 8-9 in Selden Arcade in downtown Norfolk.

Created in 1992 and now held in 65 United States cities, CANstruction combines the competitive spirit of a design/build contest with a unique way to feed the hungry. Competing teams of engineering and architectural students and professionals build huge sculptures out of donated canned food items. After the creations are judged and exhibited for two weeks, the food goes to a local food bank.

This is the eighth year that TCC’s Engineering Club has entered CANstruction. Farm Fresh has served as the club’s sponsor for the past seven years, contributing about 50,000 lbs. - or 25 tons - of canned food.

“Of all the competitions we’re involved with,” says Professor Paul Gordy, TCC’s engineering program head, “this one is definitely our favorite. It’s great fun.”

It also helps engineering students meet and network with professional engineers, Gordy notes. In fact, his club often competes with former TCC students now employed with local firms.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 37,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit