The Parthenon

Concrete Canoe to be completed by engineering students

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Students in the Marshall University College of Information Technology and Engineering began crafting their annual concrete canoe Saturday in the Marshall engineering labs.

The canoe, built by a team of engineering students, typically takes from September to March to complete and is created using a student-designed mix of concrete that can float on water. The team will take the canoe to Washington D.C. March 31 and race it against up to 13 other engineering schools in the region.

“It’s our objective to make a concrete mix that will be lighter than water and float,” said Paige Thewes, captain of this year’s team. “We work all school year toward the spring. And we build it, design it, make a mold, pour it and then we take it and race it. And you actually race it like a regular canoe.”

March’s competition will be held at George Washington University and is hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSM). Any school with an ACSM club is eligible to compete in the competition. All team members must be ACSM members or engineering majors. Teams must consist of at least five women and five men.

The canoe that wins the regional competition will go on to nationals against the other regional winners across the country.

This year, 17 other regions will be holding a concrete canoe competition. Marshall’s region is called Virginia’s conference, which includes all of the ACSM associated schools in Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. Marshall has competed in the regional competition for five years straight and placed fourth last year and as high as second in the past.

Marshall’s student chapter spent around $7,000 to make last year’s canoe, however this year the canoe has been funded by donations. 

Rick Farlow can be contacted at [email protected]

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