Researchers trade their pencils for wrenches to build bikes for local kids

Research Triangle Park, NC — What do you get when you have a room full of researchers, bike frames, and wrenches? Surprisingly not a 100-page study on bike safety, but rather 10 bikes for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle.

On March 21, more than 70 researchers from RTI International’s Education and Workforce Development unit and RTI leaders worked together to build bikes for kids in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle program.

“RTI was started by educators right here in North Carolina more than 60 years ago. We are dedicated to education in our state and work next to local educators to promote success of our state students,” said Kimberly O’Malley, PhD, senior vice president of RTI’s Education and Workforce Development team. “With deep roots in the Triangle, we are thrilled to give back to our community in a new way.”

As part of a team building exercise, researchers worked together in teams of 6-8 to complete challenges—like standing as a team on top a tarp and flipping it over without stepping off the tarp, and balancing 10 nails on top of a single nail head—that would allow them to acquire different parts, like seats, handlebars, and wheels, to complete their bikes. Team members had to use effective communication and problem-solving skills.

At the end of the event, the 10 bikes were given to children who participate in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Triangle program. 

Highlights

  • More than 70 researchers from RTI International’s Education and Workforce Development unit and RTI leaders worked together to build bikes for kids in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle program.
  • As part of a team building exercise, researchers worked together in teams of 6-8 to complete challenges—like standing as a team on top a tarp and flipping it over without stepping off the tarp, and balancing 10 nails on top of a single nail head—that would allow them to acquire different parts, like seats, handlebars, and wheels, to complete their bikes
  • At the end of the event, the 10 bikes were given to children who participate in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Triangle program