Cardboard boats sink the competition


Engineers for a Sustainable World’s boat rushes to second place as Kappa Alpha Order’s boat makes it to third place. Oct 18. Photo by Colin Stevenson.

Sweat, tears, cardboard and a whole lot of tape provided the stage for students to flex their engineering and designing muscles Oct. 18.

A crowd of around 80 spectators and their dogs assembled on the banks of Sikes lake as the ducks and geese relocated themselves to the unoccupied areas of the bank.

As soon as the starting whistle was blown, one little red boat almost immediately ran into an issue while losing a paddler. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) gained a sizeable lead on their opponents before some participants even made it off the shores. The lead was maintained throughout the race as they paddled their way across.

“It (The boat) performed very well,” Kyndal Diehm, mechanical engineering senior and member of ASME, said. “We are very proud of it.”

ASME arrived first in a plain, but effective, rowboat followed by a half-sunk craft representing Kappa Alpha Order. Unfortunately, the near submariner lost second place to ESW’s still fully functional Bullet Bill painted boat in a very close race. Kappa Alpha did claim 3rd place.

“We did great. The people in the boat performed perfectly. We had a couple of girls representing each of the chapters,” Trevor Snyder, mechanical engineering junior and member of Kappa Alpha Order, said. “We got third, so that’s a good take away from this.”

Cardboard wheels, boats and a shoe may have been lost, but a great time was had by attendees and participants alike.

“It was a lot of fun. It was a little disappointing to see a boat go down about halfway, but it was fun to finish up the race anyway,” Caleb Kiser, marketing sophomore with the cheer team, said. “I think we did really well. It was a bonding experience for sure.”

Some groups have already set plans for next year.

“I feel like we did great. I was pretty surprised but not surprised. I know we wouldn’t sink, but I was pretty surprised that we got to and from pretty quickly,” Crege Laronde, mechanical engineering junior and president of ESW, said. “Obviously, it was a battle between the engineers, and I’m pretty proud of that. We’re going to come in first next year for sure.”