Superheroes Against Hunger flex some serious muscle

Canstruction engineering challenge in Indiana generates giant food bank donation

Fight hunger with real-life superheroes? Can do!

Earlier this month, the Lake Area United Way and the United Way of Porter County, in northwest Indiana, held their second annual Canstruction event.

Once again, teams of middle-school students came together in Merrillville’s Southlake Mall to build superhero-themed structures out of canned food – all of which ended up donated to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.

The event is a yearly win for the local food pantry, with students learning how hunger impacts their community. It also helps students learn the basics of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational streams. Teams worked with Purdue University engineering students to create 3D simulations of their structures, which were put on public display for two weeks.

STEM careers can be found in abundance throughout Enbridge, including: pipeline integrity, leak detection, and various other pipeline-based engineering applications; quality control; industry-leading research and development; environmental and operational reporting; green energy and power transmission applications; and accounting.

That’s why Enbridge was thrilled to sponsor and coach a team of students from Campagna Academy, in Schererville, Ind., who built the Hulk’s Hand.

“Canstruction not only provides a great extracurricular activity for kids to express themselves creatively, but also learn about what it means to help local hunger relief organizations – and, in turn, make a positive impact on people’s lives,” says Christian Redar, a mechanical engineering at Purdue University’s Calumet campus, and Enbridge intern, who coached the Campagna team.

Final tallies suggest that this year’s donation to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana should exceed the inaugural 2014 total of 35,000 pounds.

Initiatives like Canstruction help build vibrant and healthy communities, which is important to Enbridge, says Cindy Finch, a senior public affairs advisor with Enbridge.

“We are proud of these amazing young leaders – who, by taking part in an event like this, are themselves superheroes,” she says.