RIT Hosting Upstate Regional Concrete Canoe Competition April 28-29

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Canoes made of concrete float, and those who need to see to believe will get their chance this month.

Rochester Institute of Technology is hosting the Upstate New York Regional Concrete Canoe Competition April 28-29 on the RIT campus and in Mendon Ponds Park. More than 200 students from a dozen schools in New York state and Canada will put their crafts to the ultimate test while vying for a spot in the 19th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition, hosted by Oklahoma State University June 15-17 in Stillwater, Okla. The RIT-hosted regional contest is one of 18 preliminary competitions.

RITís 15-member team designed and built a 3/4-inch-thick canoe, nicknamed Spirit, made of a lightweight aggregate mix that includes polystyrene beads (also known as pillow foam), PVC piping ground up to the consistency of sand, and micro-sized glass beads. The 19-foot-long craft weighs 255 pounds.

ďI think weíll do really well,Ē predicts Steve Zuk, of Central Square, N.Y., a third-year civil engineering technology major and the RIT teamís project manager.

RIT captured first place in regional competitions in 1997, 1998 and 2002 through 2004. RIT last hosted regionals in 1997.

Also April 28-29, RIT hosts a regional steel-bridge design competition in Gordon Field House and Activities Center. The event leads up to the 15th Annual National Student Steel Bridge Competition, hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City May 26-27.

The concrete canoe competition begins with design presentations 3-8 p.m. April 28 in RITís Wallace Library. Concrete canoe and steel bridge judging will be held during the morning of April 29 in Gordon Field House and Activities Center, followed by canoe competition during the afternoon in Mendon Ponds Park.

Both competitions are sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Note: For more information, visit http://www.asce.org/inside/nccc2006.

Photo caption: For image available at http://www.rit.edu/news/pics/rit_canoe.jpg:
RITís concrete canoe crosses the finish line in first place in the menís sprint event at 2003 regional competition on Snyders Lake in Troy. RIT is hosting this yearís Upstate New York Regional Concrete Canoe Competition April 28-29.