CANstruction: Day One

Members of the Biochemical Society building their entry during Texas Tech Student Involvement's second annual CANstruction completion on Feb. 23, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the Red Raider Ballroom at the Student Union. Teams had three hours to construct their entry. CANstruction will continue on Feb. 23, 2020, with three more teams competing and open voting from the public for the best entry.

The Texas Tech Center for Campus Life announced the winners and total can count for the second annual CANstruction competition Monday afternoon.

During the competition, participants utilized cans they brought in to build structures, which were then judged. The 1,176 cans collected from the participants in the competition will be donated to Raider Red's Food Pantry, Keri Shiplet, assistant director for the Center for Campus Life, said.

“Raider Red food pantry is an on-campus resource, in case you don’t already know, that helps fight hunger and food insecurity among our students on campus,” Ileana Hinojosa, administrator for the Center for Campus Life, said. “According to the 2018 Still Hungry and Homeless in College report, 36 percent of college students at four-year institutions face food insecurity.”

In the fall of 2018, the food pantry had 682 visits, Hinojosa said. This past fall, the pantry had over 856 visits.

“So, we know that we’re making an impact, everybody who has donated today,” Hinojosa said.

The awards for the competition included best meal, most cans, most creative structure and people’s choice in both the student organization category and the department or college category, Shiplet said.

The best meal award, which recognizes the team that best utilizes nonperishable food items to compose a balanced meal, went to Risk Intervention & Safety Education, Shiplet said. The award for most cans went to the Transition & Engagement Staff professional staff, who used 256 cans in their structure. The award for most creative structure, which takes into account design, imagery and use of labels, went to Transition & Engagement Staff professional staff.

The people’s choice award in the student organization category went to The Biochemical Society with 48 votes, Shiplet said. The people’s choice in the department category went to the Transition & Engagement professional staff with 41 votes.

Shiplet concluded the event thanking those involved.

“Our special thanks goes to the student union staff, the judges, the participants for all their hard work and donations to the Raider Red Food Pantry,” she said.

Paola Rivera, a junior biochemistry major from Guadalajara, Mexico and president of the Biochemical Society, said her group designed and built a periodic table out of 118 cans, the same as the number of elements.

“I thought that seems like pretty doable and cool and sciencey at the same time,” she said.

Her organization asks its members to participate in volunteering events, and after hearing of the competition in an email, though it would be fun.

“We said if you come and give cans, or help like build it, we can give you, like, service points for that,” Rivera said.

She recommends other organizations participate in the event in coming years, she said. It is more fun and has a bigger impact than just dropping off the cans to donate.

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