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Dordt College News

Dordt’s concrete canoe takes high honors

May 5, 2014

Dordt College’s 2014 concrete canoe, named Prairie Fire, blazed its way to high honors this year at the annual Concrete Canoe Competition held by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The regional competition was held April 26, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

The Concrete Canoe Competition gives students an opportunity to work on a real-world engineering project that provides opportunities for management, teamwork, design, and construction.

The team took second place for their technical paper, third place for the presentation, and third final product. “We didn’t finish in the top three overall—paddling in the wind proved to be quite difficult for us and brought our score down,” said Engineering Professor Justin Vander Werff, Dordt’s faculty advisor. “However, the team was very pleased with their performance, and I believe this is the first year we’ve finished in the top three of all the non-paddling categories.” Joel Sikkema also served as a faculty advisor for this year’s team.

Nine teams competed in this year’s competition including Dordt College, Iowa State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, University of Iowa, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Dordt College student participants include team captains and seniors Amanda Donnell and  Emily Riihl; juniors Kim De Boer, Jonathan De Graff, Isaac De Jong, Adam Van Hal, and Austin Van Vuren; sophomores Brendan Conley, Kit Drennon, and Nathaniel Dyett; and freshmen Mark Brauning, Andrew Cammenga, Rebekah De Penning, Kelli Johnston and Stephanie Pausma.

“The students worked throughout the fall and spring semesters on various aspects of the design, construction, and finishing of the canoe, as well as on the display, paper, and presentation. The competition was a great culmination and celebration of another academic year of work well done,” said Vander Werff.

Dordt College will host next year’s Midwest Conference Canoe Competition.

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