Sliding to victory! Concordia’s concrete toboggan team is off to Edmonton
Samantha Leger is an undergraduate student in the Studio Arts program at Concordia
This year I've been acting as Spirit Captain for the Concordia Concrete Toboggan Team, designing and creating artistic components related to our team's theme.
You may be aware of this competition already but if not here's a little description:
The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) is a mechanical and civil engineering competition held at a different university each year and attended by about 30 universities across Canada and a couple from the US.
I got involved in the project by chance. The captain of this year’s Concordia team, Bruna Guarino, is a good friend of mine. She asked me to come on board to help out so that the engineers could focus more on what they're good at: engineering!
This Wednesday morning, we're heading to Edmonton for the competition! Each team has to build a toboggan that fits five people with a metal superstructure, concrete skis, and braking and steering systems.
The competition also requires teams to come up with a theme (my job). This includes decorating the toboggan, making costumes and creating a technical exhibition to show off the toboggan.
Our theme this year was the board game Monopoly, or as we called it, Tobogganopoly!
The crate we shipped the toboggan in will be part of the exhibition. It bears information on the mechanical and civil engineering processes behind the sleigh's construction.
For costumes, we'll all be dressed as spaces from the Tobogganopoly board. The toboggan itself is painted to look like the Monopoly race-car playing piece.
We’re also taking along a giant Tobogganopoly board, and participants will be able to play games on it at the exhibition.
My role as "spirit captain" on the team also includes choreographing a team dance for the opening ceremony of the competition, designing costumes for other theme nights, and coordinating other spirit challenges set by the competition organizers.
It's been a really exciting and rewarding experience for me as a fine arts student — it isn't too often that we get to collaborate with people outside our faculty!
This is the first year that the team has invited an arts student to come on board to help with this major part of the competition, but I hope it will continue in the years to come.
It’s important for students to know that teams and events like this exist. They’re a great opportunity to use skills learned in classes, meet and collaborate with other students, and build school spirit.
The members of the Concordia Concrete Toboggan Team are:
- Bruna Guarino (Civil Engineering): captain
- Ronaldine Brazier (Civil Engineering): Vice Captain
- David Burton (Civil Engineering): Ski Design and Civil Assembly
- Manuel Octavio Tapia (Building Engineering): Concrete Mix Design, Civil Assembly, and Social Media
- Samantha Leger (Studio Arts): Spirit Co-Captain, Theme Design and Assembly, and Social Media
- Shaan Popowich (Civil Engineering): Spirit Co-Captain and Civil Assembly
- Dominique Jean (Civil Engineering): Scheduling and Civil Assembly
- Caroline Schyle (Mechanical Engineering): Superstructure and Steering Design, and Mechanical Assembly
- Raphael Cininni (Mechanical Engineering): Superstructure and Steering Design, and Mechanical Assembly
- Umut Omz (Mechanical Engineering): Braking Design and Mechanical Assembly
- Deny Lam (Mechanical Engineering): Braking Design and Mechanical Assembly
- Marc Gedeon (Mechanical Engineering): Braking Design and Mechanical Assembly
- Francisco Andres Salazar (Civil Engineering): First Year Representative and Civil Assembly