Cardboard canoe race highlights homecoming

The 22nd annual cardboard canoe race takes place Friday.

The 22nd annual cardboard canoe race takes place Friday.

For the Gazette

CEDARVILLE — 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 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.

Students are placed in teams of three to 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 competition’s traveling trophy.

Bob Chasnov, Ph.D., dean of the school of engineering and computer science, said 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,” Chasnov said. “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,” he said. “It will be exciting to see how our students overcome the new challenge.”

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

The 22nd annual cardboard canoe race takes place Friday. 22nd annual cardboard canoe race takes place Friday.

Content provided by Cedarville University.

Content provided by Cedarville University.