Cementing Skills and Fun

Concrete Canoe team draws sketch
The Concrete Canoe Team draws a sketch of a possible design for their canoe. Image courtesy of Blake Peters.

Mizzou Engineering students just completed the building of an item that sounds impossible to construct – a concrete canoe. Yet the Concrete Canoe Team spends many hours every year doing just that.

Blake Peters, president of the team, oversaw the construction of the canoe. The team will not have an in-person competition this year but still built a canoe as they plan to participate in the virtual Midwest Region event as part of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition.

“There’s a presentation officers have to give, and we also need to develop a technical paper for the virtual contest,” he said. “We built a canoe this year, even though we are not racing it. We thought it was important to do so for fun, and also to help us for next year to get the kinks out of our design.”

Peters wanted team members to have fun and build relationships beyond their classes. Getting together to build the canoe proved difficult this year due to COVID-19, but the team built the canoe safely.

“Keeping social distancing working on construction projects can be difficult. You can’t always complete a project just by yourself,” he said. “But everyone was safe staying six feet apart and limiting the amount of contact everyone had.”

Peters, a sophomore majoring in both electrical engineering and physics from St. Peter’s, Missouri, enjoys being part of the team, even though the club and contest are geared toward civil engineering students.

“Concrete is so prevalent in our world. I’ve learned things about concrete that I wouldn’t have normally learned about as an electrical engineer, and I find it interesting.”

Learn more about the Concrete Canoe Team here.

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