• Comment

Columbia Middle team wins Vanbox competition

Posted: February 28, 2016 - 12:06am
Back | Next
hcbdsycbydcs  Photo by Abbigail Lennon
Photo by Abbigail Lennon
hcbdsycbydcs

What’s in a Vanbox? How can you make it cheaper and more efficient?

These are some questions five groups from Columbia Middle School and Evans High School were competing to answer best Wednesday during the Next Generation Vanbox competition.

In a battle of innovation and creativity, three groups from Columbia Middle School and two groups from Evans High School presented their concept for a more improved Club Car utility Vanbox vehicle to a panel of six judges from Club Car and Columbia County schools.

In partnership with Club Car and its parent company Ingersoll Rand, the students were exposed to the Engineering, Design Process, which professionals use to design and build the golf cart products.

The project is an effort on behalf of Club Car to address the growing need for qualified engineers and introduce students to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,
or STEM, skills incorporated with the growing industry.

The student groups were selected from more than 20 others from both schools to present at the
competition.

The students were tasked with reducing the weight, size, cost, ease of assembly, and insulation time.

Throughout the process, which began back in August, engineers and product management representatives from Club Car checked in on the students and their projects.

“We actually brought a Vanbox over to the school for the kids to integrate for themselves to look at the materials, feel it, test it out and come up with better ideas for their project,” said George Garner with Club Car.

Some groups proposed the Vanbox carts be comprised of different materials such as aluminium, resin and plastic tubing to reduce cost and weight. They also addressed the design aspect with proposals to add drawers and adjustable compartments inside and on the exterior, and remove windows or add garage style doors to the Vanbox.

One group even interviewed a local veterinarian to find out what a potential customer in the medical field might like to see in a Vanbox golf cart.

After each presentation, the students took questions from the judges about their process and methods.

Students were scored on their use of the Engineering, Design Process, appearance, presentation delivery and organization for a possible score of 600 points.

With a score of 595, the Miracle Workers team from Columbia Middle School placed first in the Next Generation Vanbox Project of 2016.

“I’ll be honest, I didn’t think we would make it this far, especially not in first place. However, here we are, and I couldn’t have won this without my amazing teammates,” said teammember Abigail Kitchens.

Her teammates echoed that sentiment.

“Yes, in the making of the project we did argue, cry, and get stressed out, but we worked it out. When we finished the project, I thought we did pretty good, but first place?! That’s more than I’ve ever imagined,” said Ariadna Garcia.

“We had not a clue as to what place we would get in the final standing, nor a hint to the greatness we would achieve. But we were
fueled by something: determination,” said Mara Williams.

“We were asked to make a better Van Box and we did and we managed to get first place in our school and the executive competitions,” Williams
added.

  • Comment