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home : news : local   July 10, 2014

2/21/2013 5:40:00 AM
Edible cars: You can eat them but will they roll? (video)


Illinois Valley Community College student Richard McLaughlin laughs as he watches his team’s, Engineering No. 2, edible car race down the ramp during the seventh annual Edible Car Contest on Wednesday at IVCC. Also on Engineering No. 2’s team were Bill Goluba and Andrea Fownger (not pictured). NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
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Illinois Valley Community College student Richard McLaughlin laughs as he watches his team’s, Engineering No. 2, edible car race down the ramp during the seventh annual Edible Car Contest on Wednesday at IVCC. Also on Engineering No. 2’s team were Bill Goluba and Andrea Fownger (not pictured).

NewsTribune photo/Amanda Whitlock
Matthew Baker
Staff Writer



Few racers survived the finish line Wednesday afternoon at Illinois Valley Community College. But that tends to be the case during the annual Edible Car Contest.
About 20 teams of IVCC and local high school students participated in the seventh annual event to build and race completely edible cars.
Dorene Verucchi-Perez, computer aided design program director, said the contest highlights National Engineers Week.
“We’re doing it to promote engineering and STEM,” she said, referring to science, technology, engineering and math fields.
Along with increasing exposure of these fields to students, in general, Verucchi-Perez said there’s interest in convincing more women to consider STEM-related careers.
Each team was required to have at least one woman. Hall High School senior Katie Hoffert lead the design of one of the high school team. Hoffert and her teammates said when it came to designing and building their car — a cucumber body with pasta axels and Oreo wheels — science didn’t play an overt role in the process.
“It was more trial and error,” Hoffert said.
The edible cars raced on a ramp in the school’s cafeteria. This year’s track and speed sensors were designed and programmed by an IVCC student, said Jim Gibson, electronics program director.
For those looking to build a swift racer next year, Gibson provided some scientific insight.
Since gravity is the only source of acceleration on the edible car ramp, and velocity is a function of mass and acceleration, a car with great mass will likely do well. Additionally, Gibson said friction is more of an issue than drag on the track.
“So you really got to watch your friction and try to get your mass up, if you want a fast car,” he said.

Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or lasallereporter@newstrib.com.












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