On April 19th, The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia hosted a Design Challenge involving three high schools; Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD), G. W. Carver High School for Engineering and Science (ACE Mentor Program Competition Team), and Henderson High School of the West Chester Area School District.
Judging the competition was Pennoni’s Founder and Chairman C.R. ‘Chuck’ Pennoni, PE, alongside Michael Aratan, CEO of K’Nex whom provided the kits and motors used for the challenge, and Dr. Leslie Lamberson, PHD, representing Drexel University’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Dan DiMucci, Senior Vice President at Pennoni coordinated the event with the schools, students, and the Chamber of Commerce.
The school teams were challenged to create and assemble an environmentally friendly people mover. The vehicle was required to travel at least four feet across the table and overcome at least one obstacle such as a hill, curve, landform, etc. The team then presented how their creation was environmentally friendly, how people could fit in it, and demonstrate overcoming the chosen obstacle to the judges.
The competition preceded the William Penn Award Gala on the 21st at which Chuck Pennoni, the William Penn Award recipient, surprised all three teams with equivalent monetary prizes since they were equally impressive and uniquely innovative. Chuck Pennoni said “The judges were very impressed with the creativity, planning, teamwork and maturity of the students. They were equally deserving of the award.”