Engineering hosts iditarod

By By , Staff Writer

By Ryan Howell, Staff Writer

Utah is a far cry from Alaska, but that didn’t stop engineering students from competing in an iditarod on campus.

The U’s College of Engineering hosted its Engineering Iditarod on Friday. The race required teams of engineering students, alumni, faculty and a few non-engineering students to construct a sled to transport multiple textbooks hidden throughout the engineering college area of campus.

“It was really fun,” said Debbie Barnes, a senior in communication sciences and disorders who was a member of the “Mad Dawgs” team. “I thought it would be boring, and I was forced to come. But it was a lot more interesting than I thought an engineering activity would be.”

Altogether, there were 200 textbooks that had to be earned by either finding them, solving riddles or completing challenges to demonstrate engineering ability, such as building a catapult and programming robots. Each book corresponded to a prize and in all the prize values totaled more than $6,0008212;donated by sponsors.

The turnout was better than expected, said Ashley Paulsen, the program coordinator for the College of Engineering Dean’s Office. She said she hopes to make the Engineering
Iditarod an annual event attached to Homecoming Week.

“We were excited to see this many people and would love to see it grow in the future,” Paulsen said.

The 17 teams, including four alumni teams, competed for two grand prizes8212;one for collecting the most books and the other a spirit prize for the team with the most creativity and best costumes.

“The Gas Men,” a team of engineering alumni from Questar Gas Company, won a $500 scholarship from the U’s bookstore for collecting the most books.

Matt Steffes, a junior in civil engineering and a member of the “Parka Pirates” team, said he had fun and that was the most important thing.

“I was really excited that the College of Engineering went out and got such great sponsorships and prizes.” Steffes said.

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Tyler Cobb/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Participants in the engineering iditarod run out of the starting area Friday afternoon. The contestants had 45 minutes to find textbooks around campus or win them by completing challenges.