I scream; you scream; we all scream for … Blizzards? In this “chilling” student competition, we absolutely did!
What’s this “Upside-Down or Free” Gig?
Clairemont client Triangle Dairy Queen wanted to bolster and support student learning in a fun, creative way. So Clairemont and Triangle DQ devised the “Upside-Down or Free Competition,” challenging local elementary schools to test their engineering skills in a Blizzard ice-cream-launching competition. Designed in partnership with The Engineering Place at NC State University, the competition invited approximately 400 students to design an apparatus that could carry a Dairy Queen Blizzard upside down from a platform safely to a target on the ground.
That’s right! First- and fifth-grade students crafted some crazy cool contraptions from reusable materials, from balloons and bubble wrap to shoeboxes and used soda bottles.
So why upside-down?
At Dairy Queen, all Blizzards are served to guests upside down, or they are free. Triangle Dairy Queen owner Andy Valkanoff wanted to leverage this fun factoid to re-energize learning, stimulate a renewed interested in engineering and provide an imaginative outlet for kiddos to simply create!
Who were Blizzard-bombing players?
- Approximately 400 students from York Elementary, A.B. Combs Magnet Elementary and Wendell Elementary schools, jazzed to unveil their Blizzard-blitzing contraptions.
- Andy Valkanoff, owner of Triangle Dairy Queen, who personally launched almost 150 Blizzards from
the threshold of a sky-high cherry picker. Yes, he did.
- The photo-taking, event-organizing, uber-excited Clairemont team!
- Engineer students and representatives from The Engineering Place at NC State, carefully judging each Blizzard competitor.
- A large squeegee. (Because smooshed and melting ice cream in 85-degree weather needs something heavier than a broom!)
At the end, Triangle DQ crowned a grand prize and runner up winner for each grade, who received coveted prizes like ice cream for a year. Each student trotted off with their own Starkiss and a coupon for free Blizzard, while every teacher was bequeathed a free ice cream cake. Best of all were the smiles on the students’ faces paired with one request for us to return next year for “the best challenge ever!”
We love devising zany, effective strategies to support our community and help our clients reach their goals. Looking for your next “voila” for your company? Drop us a line!
Photos courtesy of Triangle Dairy Queen.