Rockford students put their skills to the test by building cardboard canoes

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford area engineering students put their skills to the test and created cardboard canoes.

"It was my idea I'm pretty sure to do Nemo because Nemo is a fish and we will be in the water and it will be really cute," said Roosevelt High School Senior Julianna Gutowski.

Just keep swimming is what Gutowski's teammates were chanting as the Nemo canoe raced across the Guilford swimming pool during the fourth annual Cardboard Canoe Race.

"We did the canoe shape so it would go faster," Gutowski said.

To win the race each canoe needed to hold two students, stay afloat and be made out of duct tape and cardboard.

"No company builds cardboard canoes. But the skills that our students are using to build these are the skills that are manufactured here in town need in future employees," said Guilford High School College and Career Acadamy Coach Chistina Magee.

Magee was thrilled to see more than 70 canoes enter the race.

"Collaboration is for our students and what better way than to have them build a really fun project to practice those skills," Magee said.

All the students competing are in an engineering class. This race allows them to put their skills to the test.

"I think one thing that a lot of kids are taking away from today is they have an idea and they see it on paper and they thought their boat was going to win but they have to take some adjustments," said Rockford Public Schools Dean of Secondary Mathematics, Ben Epperson.

East High School took top honors. Other awards included those for top speed, best design and skill.