Grace College’s Department of Engineering held a CO2 dragster race on February 1 for engineering students and faculty, high school and middle school students, and parents. Warsaw Community High School senior Marston Norris won the high school division. Jeffersonville High School senior Isaac Findley took second and homeschool senior Lauren Mermoud took third. Grace College sophomore Natalie Gerber won the open division.
A total of $6,000 was awarded in Grace College scholarships at the competition. All three top high school racers will begin their engineering degree at Grace in the fall.
The competition took place in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on Grace’s campus where parents and students designed and raced their cars. At the end of the competition, a world series was held where everyone from both divisions competed in a single-elimination bracket. Natalie Gerber won first place against Pavle Popovic, even though one of her car’s wheels flew off near the finish line.
Dr. Fred Wentorf, chair of the Department of Engineering at Grace College, said, “This event is meant to increase excitement about STEM in the area and increase the visibility of the STEM programs and majors at Grace. I think it was a great start. It was encouraging to see our prospective and current students interacting. I am very excited about the potential of this event to grow in the future.”
“I really enjoyed the CO2 car race,” Gerber said. “It was fun to test out the car that I’d designed and see how it performed. Although the atmosphere was competitive, it was also festive. The engineering camaraderie was very cool to see, as we had the opportunity to celebrate each personal design.”
The competition included food, video game competitions, and jokes from the event’s emcee. “We hope to make this an annual event for current students and prospective students to enjoy racing together,” said Wentorf.