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Engineering Students Build Concrete Boats

It’s not every day you see someone in a concrete boat, let alone racing one. Students from all over the nation did just that recently. Engineering students created concrete boats and raced them at Jensen’s Grove in Blackfoot. Let’s look at how a concrete boat works and why this is yet another unique way to utilize the power of concrete.

Engineering is a marvel. It can do a variety of things but most of us aren’t wired to be that creative. Yes, engineers are creative. They can do things and put together things in ways most of us can’t. Most of us couldn’t figure out how to make a concrete boat float, let alone race it, but dozens of engineers at this event figured it out.

Teams for all over the Northwest took anywhere from ten to 15 months to create concrete boats that could be raced. Concrete boats seemingly defy the laws of physics, which is what makes this event all that more amazing. Most of the teams came up with the design, built it and tested it multiple times to ensure they would be capable of racing.

Even if the boats don’t float, it’s all about building a team and working towards a goal. Engineering sometimes doesn’t work and this is a prime example of that in some cases. Some of the teams create new boats every year, and it’s become a challenge to defy the laws of physics with concrete. Each time utilizes lightweight concrete and the boats have to pass a float test in order to be considered.

It’s concrete projects and creativity like this that help develop concrete in other ways that can benefit everyday consumers. By looking for new ways to use concrete, everyone wins from consumers to industry professionals to contractors laying the material itself.


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