Help Us Build Our Concrete Canoe!
What is Concrete Canoe?
The UMD Concrete Canoe team competes in the annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe competition. The competition challenges students to design, build, and race a canoe made entirely from concrete. This year’s team is working hard to design better, build stronger, and race faster than it ever has before. We compete against about six teams in the regional competition, and only the winning team from our region advances to the national competition. We are learning from previous teams’ experiences and building upon their successes in order to return to nationals.
(Photos from 2017 Regional Conference http://cee.umd.edu/flickr/set/72157682744832456)
We are trying a few new things this year to improve our efficiency and better protect the canoe from the stresses in transportation. For the past two years, the canoe has broken in transportation due to inadequate support at the ends, which caused it to break in half at the middle. This year, we are building a modular reusable practice canoe mold that can be attached to the canoe’s transportation system, which would make it easier and safer to move, and also save money for future teams. This mold will also allow us to hold a practice pour day so that our team has the experience and preparation to build a competitive final canoe.
In addition to redesigning the practice mold, our mix team is also developing a strong and lightweight concrete mix. With rules set by ASCE limiting the amount of expanded glass and styrofoam we can use in our concrete, we must adjust our mix to incorporate materials like pumice, which are heavier.
As we face these challenges, we need help to get the materials used to build the canoe. The money raised from this campaign will go towards purchasing personal protective equipment, concrete “ingredients,” and the canoe molds. Any additional funds will allow us to bring our hardworking students to the regional conference, which is an incredible educational opportunity.
We have a strong, passionate team of students from diverse backgrounds with a variety of skills, and we are working hard to build the best canoe. Our executive board consists of 14 students who design and construct the hull, concrete, and aesthetics, and keep track of our activities and members. We have a race team that is building up its physical and mental strength and endurance throughout the year. We also have many fantastic volunteers who have been helping out with our concrete mix development and testing, construction, and theme development!
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