Brainy kids, engineers-in-training poised to ease Ecuadorians

Spinnaker

Straddling the equator on the west coast of South America lies a country approximately one and a half times the size of Florida, Ecuador.

On May 1, 16 UNF students plan to gather at the Jacksonville International Airport to board a plane bound for Quito, Ecuador’s capital and second largest city.

At least that’s the plan.

Half of the students major in engineering, and in order to complete the intended project, they must raise $15,000.

“Right now we have zero,” said Erin Collins, a UNF mechanical engineering junior and president elect of Engineers Without Borders.

Eight honors students and eight students from the Engineers Without Borders club will spend 23 days in Ecuador this summer. They will devote the first eight days to service projects and the remaining 15 days to traveling the country.

Ten engineering students are currently working on a tech room design for students there, along with a bathroom remodel. During the first part of their trip, the eight students going to Ecuador will implement their design.

In addition to the design, the engineering students are also working on raising money to fund the project itself.

“Right now we’re doing anything and everything to raise that money,” Collins said.

Last semester, the club went to engineering companies and corporations and gave presentations asking for donations, Collins said. They plan to spend almost every weekend until Feb. 15 outside Publix asking for money.

They are also applying for grants, she said.

But to those of you still reading this article, there is something in store for you. The students are getting creative in their fundraising antics and devised some unique ways to fund the project.

To find out more about their unconventional money-collecting activities more geared toward college students’ interests … namely, fiestas.

Details for Friday, Jan. 22’s soiree (like specific location … you know, minor things) were still being hashed out at press time. For more information on the developing social event to benefit this philanthropic endeavor, contact Collins at (407) 446-1730.