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The Journal Gazette

  • Members of the University of Florida team carry their concrete canoe to the water for a race during the National Concrete Canoe Competition in Homer, Ill., Saturday, June 22, 2013. The American Society of Civil Engineers National Concrete Canoe Competition is held annually in June to provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Monday, June 24, 2013 5:52 pm

What floats these boats? Concrete

The Associated Press

Does concrete float? For the hundreds of civil engineering students at the annual National Concrete Canoe Competition, the answer is "yes."

Teams representing 23 schools vied last week to design, build and race canoes made of concrete. Some vessels were as long as 22 feet and weighed as much as 180 pounds. A wooden canoe of the same size weighs about 40 pounds.

Alicia Welling, manager of the California Polytechnic State University team, says the trick to making concrete float is to mix it with glass bubbles and other lightweight objects.

Welling says the three-day American Society of Civil Engineers event gives students practical experience in finding creative engineering solutions and working as part of a team.

L'École de Technologie Supérieure, of Montreal, took the title Saturday.