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TCC, Virginia Beach schools partner in friendly competition on Nov. 14 

TCC Cable Cars Event Video

Photo by Bradley Smith Photo by Bradley Smith Photo by Bradley Smith
Professor Paul Gordy, right, congratulates Cory Houck for first place.
TCC Engineering Club's Dave Henderson sets up his car.
TCC student Tennill Wade took 10th place with her car.      


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – (Nov. 17, 2006) – A high-wire act starring dozens of motorized cable cars - and their budding engineer designers - pitted problem-solving skills against gravity and physics at Tidewater Community College’s Advanced Technology Center on the Virginia Beach Campus on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

High school and TCC students raced their mini cable cars designed and built with a specified motor and a 9V battery. While last year’s 45-foot-long competition saw a mix of wildly zooming cars and a few that crashed to the floor below, this year’s contest increased the thrill – racing the cars along a 105-foot wire to the excited response of more than 100 team-mates and onlookers.

This year, close to 30 teams from Virginia Beach Public Schools and TCC’s engineering program competed in the 13th annual TCC engineering contest. TCC's Cory Houck, Dave Henderson and Kiosi Garfias took the top three places in the contest, with a team of two high school students taking fourth place.

“This annual competition encourages all levels of learning as well as a little engineering savvy,” says TCC engineering program head Paul Gordy. He explains that each team receives identical kits containing a motor, a cable and a battery clip to build customized cars. The cars can be driven by propeller, gears or belts. Every cable car is unique, and cash prizes go to students whose cars cross the finish line with the fastest times.

This is the first year that the motorized cable cars have been required to travel such a distance - more than double previous years. “It was quite an experience to see which ones made it, which ones hit a good speed, and of course, the ones that teetered right off the wire,” says Gordy, who often competes, unofficially, with his own design.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 37,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit