Da Vinci Club gives back to community

Students built experience and opportunity through volunteering as a club.

The Da Vinci Club at Delaware Technical Community College volunteered for Habitat for Humanity at a job site in Ellendale on Nov. 16.

Founded over ten years ago by Bill Seuss, now-retired Engineering Technology instructor, The Da Vinci Club is open to all part- and full-time students in engineering technologies and related majors who have interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The club was named after Leonardo Da Vinci, who was an inventor and artist. The club’s mission is to encourage knowledge, teamwork, and learning in all fields of engineering technologies. With an average two dozen active members, the club meets once a month, growing through word of mouth while using email to coordinate meetings.

The build went from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. wherein three students and current club advisor, David Pedersen, built 24 partitions and 19 door frames. Materials for habitat builds are donated by local businesses. Builds are led by a team manager and contractor. Anyone can donate their time and go help on a build by filling out a form online. Houses built are on average four- to five-bedroom, two-bathroom homes and are serviced for life by Habitat for Humanity.

“The Da Vinci Club had an awesome opportunity to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity. The experience was fun and rewarding. Knowing that you helped build a house for someone else is a great feeling to have. I would definitely be more than willing to help Habitat for Humanity on a another project,” said club member, Safi Furlow.

Seuss also had a relationship with Habitat for Humanity and had taken students to builds before to gain hands-on civil engineering experience and perform community service. Pedersen wanted to continue the legacy and give students the opportunity to make better connections in the field.

“Frankly, it can be a lot of fun; even if it’s just a little bit, whatever contribution that you make is actually helping a family to have their own home. That’s a big deal,” said Pedersen.

David Pedersen will retire after the spring 2019 semester at Owens Campus. Fellow advisor and civil engineering instructor, Diane Calloway, will take over as head advisor once Pedersen steps down.

The Da Vinci Club offers many opportunities for STEM students including fundraising and field trips that are hands on. Fundraisers include a Walking Taco and Pie in the Face challenge. Upcoming trips include Washington D.C. and New York. In the spring an egg drop will be held to draw creative and analytical minds together. Those interested can get involved by showing up to a meeting or reaching out to Pedersen and/or Calloway.

Da Vinci Club members at job site. From left, Safi Furlow, Cassidy Clark, Samantha Cairns, David Pedersen. Photo: C. Clark.

Samantha Cairns, Civil Engineering student, Da Vinci Club member. Photo: C. Clark.

David Pedersen and Safi Furlow measuring partitions. Photo: C. Clark.

Partitions and door frames built by club members. Photo: C. Clark.

Habitat job site in Habitat built community, Ellendale, Delaware. Photo: C. Clark.