Engineering Club Hosts Drone Race Fundraiser

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BY SEAN KELLY

STAFF REPORTER

Sacred Heart University students from Professor Tolga’s engineering explorations course put together a fundraiser to support Notre Dame High School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) club.

The Engineering Club Drone Race Fundraiser took place Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 12:30 in the Art & Design Gallery Atrium located on campus. Students paid two dollars per race. All the money raised went to Notre Dame High School’s STEM club.

“I’m excited about all of this,” said freshman Stephen Bader. “I am very enthusiastic about this club and especially this event for such a great cause. The STEM clubs represent our efforts to explore what path engineering has for us. To be able to do a fundraiser for clubs willing to pursue that as well is a rewarding experience.”

Providing equipment and boosting efforts within Notre Dame’s STEM club is essential for this fundraiser, according to Sacred Heart Professor Kaya Tolga.

“The ND STEM club has no funding yet, even though students in the club are extremely motivated and trying so hard to come up with projects with no resources,” said Tolga. “Providing them some equipment will boost their efforts.”

According to Tolga, this is more than just a fundraiser, as it also a growing relationship that will bond both the Sacred Heart and Notre Dame STEM clubs.

“Additionally, not only will they receive random pieces of equipment, but they will also work with us together during the semester to decide what they would need for their club,” said Tolga. “High school students and college freshman engineering students will work together to raise the money.”

The impact this fundraiser will have on both engineering students in both clubs will grow exponentially over the years as other clubs are asking for the same collaboration.

“This project impacts Notre Dame High School as the recipient of the equipment for their STEM club. It also impacts our engineering students as they work on a real engineering project (drones) with a service learning project associated with it,” said Tolga. “In the long term, this project will impact other high schools as we are already receiving more collaboration requests.”

The fundraiser as a whole was a fun event filled with competition and good spirits, where prizes were given and drones were flown.

“I thought it was really cool,” said Senior Derik Beckett. “What took me to see this event, other than the drones, was the engineering aspect of it all. It was awesome to see how drones are more than just a piece of machinery. They really are a form of technology that we have come to rely on.”

“I’m glad I took the time out of my day to explore something not only educational, but meaningful to where humanity is going in terms of technology,” said Beckett.

The event will happen more than once according to Bader.

“Our goal is to raise $5,000. We want to be able to build off of what we have here and have two more fundraisers to really drive our goal,” said Bader. “There will be two more big fundraising events on March 20 and April 17.”

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