Science and technology are all about making the “impossible” reality, and students in the cooperative engineering program did just that when they transformed concrete into a functioning canoe.
The group represented their program in the American Society of Civil Engineers concrete canoe competition. This annual, months-long competition requires a team of students to design, build and race a canoe made from concrete. The teams also compete academically — explaining and defending their design choices in written and oral presentations.
The exact rules and requirements vary each year; for example, this year teams were forbidden from enhancing the canoe’s appearance and water resistance by applying exterior paint. But the big goal of the competition remains the same: you’ve got to figure out how to make concrete float.
To fuel their success, the concrete canoe team not only leveraged their talent and training, they also relied on support from the community. The team set up a page on Missouri State’s crowdfunding site, where visitors can donate money to Missouri State student activities and projects.
The concrete canoe team raised a little over $1,500. While that’s not much in comparison to a professional engineering budget, it was all the team needed to place third out of 16 schools in the regional contest. And as these students prepare for their profession, they already know how to make the “impossible” reality — and under budget.