Cardboard Canoe Race Highlights Homecoming

by Rae McKee, Public Relations Writer

Budding engineering students at Cedarville University are putting the finishing touches on their canoes as they prepare to race across Cedar Lake in the 22nd annual cardboard canoe race. The canoes will make their debut during homecoming weekend on October 2 from 3-5 p.m. 

Students are placed onto teams of three-four students, and while freshmen engineering students make up the vast majority of the field, students in other departments and schools also participate. Every team gets 40 feet of cardboard and 100 meters of packaging tape to assemble their cardboard canoe. The goal is for the canoe to maneuver from the northern to the southern part of the lake without sinking. 

Each member of the winning engineering team will receive a caliper micrometer set, two specialized engineering tools that measure thin widths and diameters. The academic department or school that finishes as the overall champion will receive the traveling trophy. 

Bob Chasnov, Ph.D., dean of the school of engineering and computer science, explained that the grading system has expanded over the past two years to push students to finish faster. 

“Previously, competitors were graded on their ability to make it across the lake and keep their canoe intact,” said Chasnov. “But we changed that last year when students also wanted to be graded on their speed and ranking in the race.”
 
Chasnov also said that a recent change in the lake could add a new dynamic to the race. 

“The maintenance crew added aeration bubblers at the bottom of the lake to help keep it clean, which may have an interesting effect on boaters,” explained Chasnov. “It will be exciting to see how our students overcome the new challenge.” 

The race, one of the most popular events during homecoming weekend, is free and open to the public. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.