Sink or Swim — Engineering Students Defy All Odds

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

Cedarville, Ohio—Imagine competing in a boat race. Imagine having to build your own boat for the race. Now imagine being able to use only cardboard, tape and your imagination to construct the boat. Well, that’s exactly what this year’s freshman class of engineers at Cedarville University has to do for Homecoming Weekend.

The annual cardboard canoe race will take place on Oct. 3 on Cedar Lake. Each engineering team can use 40 feet of cardboard and 55 yards of wide tape to construct the canoe. With only two weeks to prepare, the engineers do their best to reach the other side of the lake while trying to stay afloat.

Dr. Robert Chasnov, professor of engineering, says, “Allowing these budding engineers to walk through the process of designing their own vessels and compete for prizes and prestige helps them see how engineers think and work.” This year Caterpillar, one of the Midwest’s leading employers of engineers, will sponsor the event.

“When I was a freshman,” says Wes Muntz, junior mechanical engineering major, “not only did my team’s boat make it across the lake, but we also won the demolition derby, which all the surviving boats compete in.” Dustin Winchester, also a junior mechanical engineering student, adds, “The cardboard canoe race gave us our first taste of the engineering major. With danger, lake algae, speed and aspiring engineers, what could make this event any better?”

This year the engineering department boasts 102 freshmen on teams of three or four. Come to Cedar Lake with your friends and family to see if the students sink or swim.