Brown University School of Engineering

SOE to Hold Third Extreme Edible Car Competition

May 3, 2013

The Kentucky Derby is known as the “fastest two minutes in sports”, but on Derby weekend several Brown University engineering students will be racing cars instead of horses in the Extreme Edible Car Contest, sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The idea for the contest came from Kentucky native and engineering alumna Julie Sygiel ’09, who organized the first two contests in 2008 and 2009. The race has returned this year and will be contested on Manning Walkway on Friday, May 3.

Team of 3-5 students and faculty will have one hour to build a car out of supplied edible materials – everything from zucchini to fettuccini, and bagels to potatoes may be on the list of potential ingredients.

Engineering students have built a ramp, approximately three and half feet high, where the cars will be placed and then released. Cars will be powered by gravity only without help from external sources. All cars must have at least three rotating wheels that support the body of the car.

Cars are judged on appearance, distance traveled, and speed. The top teams will receive prizes.

The Society of Women Engineers is also helping to promote responsible food use in several ways. In obtaining food for the competition, the organizers attempted to buy locally to reduce the negative environmental impacts of transporting food. At the end of the competition, all food scraps are going to be composted. Compost bins have been provided by EcoRI, a local organization that will use the food scraps to help produce nutrient-rich soil that will later be used to grow food at local farms.