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News Releases @ TCC

Students ‘demolish hunger,’ put design skills to the test

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Nov. 12, 2010) – Tidewater Community College’s Engineering Club swept top awards in this year’s Hampton Roads “Canstruction” contest, part of a national design/build competition to raise awareness and canned goods for local food banks.

The awards were announced at the build site, Selden Arcade in Norfolk, in a reception on Nov. 11. For their design, called Demolish Hunger, TCC took three awards: Most Cans award, Structural Ingenuity award and Juror’s Favorite award.

TCC students constructed a ‘bulldozer’ pushing against a ‘wall’ that spelled H-U-N-G-E-R, illustrating work to “knock down the walls of hunger.”

Standing (left to right):Sarah Redfield of Farm Fresh, Paul Gordy (faculty advisor), students Carl Barbee, Sean Moninger (team captain) and Jonathan Kurzer (Engineering Club president); kneeling, Steve Ezzell (faculty advisor) and student Ryan McMullin

For the 13th year running, TCC competed with other student and commercial design teams to fight hunger in Hampton Roads by building the massive ‘can’ masterpieces. For the seven competing teams, early “poundage” tallies show 30,000 lbs. of food – all of which goes to the Foodbank of South Hampton Roads.

The teams had just six hours to construct their designs on Nov. 10. TCC’s team used 10,600 cans donated by Farm Fresh. The completed project weighed in at close to five tons. TCC’s Canstruction team included 17 members led by student team captain Sean Moninger and faculty advisor Paul Gordy, head of TCC’s engineering program.

Gordy notes that the build project had to be contained in a 10 by 10 space, “giving us lots of opportunities to calculate can usage. We enjoy this process because it puts engineering skills to use, while promoting teamwork as we serve our community.”

Created in 1992 and now held in 140 U.S. cities, Canstruction combines the competitive spirit of a design/build contest with a unique way to feed the hungry. After the creations are judged and exhibited for two weeks, the food goes to area food banks. Last year, more than 2 million pounds of food were donated across the nation, providing 1.5 million meals.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was 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 Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit