Students from Sexton building igloo to help Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia

- February 16, 2005

Project leader, Jeramy Slaunwhite, a third-year mechanical engineering student, assembled a team of student volunteers who gave up part of their weekend for a worthy cause -Êthe Easter Seals 2005 Igloo Promotion.
The Abilities Foundation of Nova Scotia has partnered with the Dalhousie University Sexton Campus Engineering Society (DUSCES) to help with their Easter Seals 2005 Igloo Promotion.

Jeramy Slaunwhite, a third year mechanical engineering student, assembled a team of students to design and build a large igloo capable of housing 24 people. On Thursday and Friday, (February 17 and 18) the contestants will spend 24 hours challenging each other for the right to remain in the igloo. The last person left wins. The contestants were chosen by media sponsor Q104 (see our story on Dalhousie's participants).

The students visited website and came away with a geodesic dome design; which is shaped like an igloo, but has the advantage of not melting. About 27 students volunteered to help in some way. Their reasons varied from, "It's an interesting project and its a good cause", to "I love building things and getting my hands dirty, it's much more fun than homework."

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The frame is 120 pieces of 1/2" electrical metal tubing (EMT), donated by Elco Electric. The tubing was cut in three different lengths and connected by 1/4" bolts. The ends were hammered flat and a hole drilled in each. The ends were then bent at 12 degree angles, to give the igloo/dome shape. The shell will be four 20' x 28' white polyethylene tarps, held together by polyethylene spray adhesive. Block patterns will be traced onto the fabric. Major design considerations were structural stability, cost efficiency, ease of assembly and overall appearance.

Last Saturday, the students assembled the frame in one hour, and took it down in twenty minutes. The other two hours were spent making some structural modifications to the door. To date the project has taken over 50 hours; with stunning results. The final build is set for Wednesday evening starting at 6 p.m. The igloo will be located at the Sackville landing by the waterfront. "A geodesic dome is one of the best structures because, being made of triangles, all the loading is evenly distributed through the linkages. Also, the materials can be lightweight and easy to assemble," explains Jeramy. Its inventor, Buckminster Fuller, would probably be in complete agreement. The fact that this structure also looks like an igloo made it an obvious choice.

Sponsors for the igloo are EnCana Corporation, Elco Electric and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Engineering. The event itself also has several corporate sponsors.Ê

Jeramy extends his gratitude to the following students who gave their time and engineering knowledge to this event: Guenna McCarthy, Zachary King, Christian West, Edward Townsend, Bob Dumeah, George Dimitropoulas, Bryden Beckvens, Jonathan Murphy, Matthew Devau, Jeff Nephew, Jonathan Pearce, Mary McCormick, Christopher Davis, Amy MacFarlane, James Gregson, Kelly Brown, Kelly Martinell, Jonathan Whitlock, Paula Cook, Aaron Caldwell, Guliiaume Gervais, Colleen Meagher, Roger Eickholt, James Schwartz, Denise McKay, Mark Bessoudo and Andrew Smith. These students represent virtually every discipline within the Faculty of Engineering.


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