Taking Silver

Yesterday’s weather was perfect for being out on the lake all day. Day two of the ASCE competition was spent out on West Pointe Lake right on the border of Alabama and Georgia.




All 20 or so schools set up tailgating tents for hanging out all day.




On the bus ride over, I had a Greek yogurt and some of the granola that Marianne gave me.




Saturday’s main event was concrete canoe racing. They raced all day long, different heats like girls’ endurance, boys sprints, etc.



It takes way more strength to row a concrete canoe than a regular canoe. Plus, since they are handmade, any little error can make the boat want to go to the left or right.


Our girls made it look easy! (We were in the yellow.)




Our canoe this year was named…. Talladega Knights. We are the UCF Golden Knights.




We all gathered to watch the racing and show our school spirit!




Next up was my competition, Geotechnical Engineering. We had to build a retaining wall using only poster board, tape, and construction paper.




We had thirty minutes to design and install our wall into our premade sandbox.




We  had a method to our madness…




We then added tons of dry sand to our box, compacted, and filled to the top.




We had great team work, and got everything finished before the thirty minutes was up.




Not only did our retaining wall hold all the sand in the box, it held the added 50 lbs…. PLUS our team captain and president. I would say we were successful!


Only two schools out of 10 had retaining walls that even held the sand in the box.




Go team! Aren’t are matching shirts EPIC!?




By the time we got done, it was 2:00pm, and the lunch line was about to close! I was looking forward to my requested veggie sub but they were out!?!


I got stuck eating nasty bar-be-que. 😦




The company was enjoyable, even though the food was not.




Later that night, we got all dressed up and headed to the awards banquet. We all had a feeling that we had done well this year, and couldn’t wait to see how we placed!


The first award received was for Geotech! We placed third out of twenty schools!  We were the only small competition to get top three from UCF. So proud!




Our concrete canoe placed third overall, and won a bunch of other awards as well.




Steel bridge took first for the second year in a row! HOORAY!




The last award announced was the overall winner. UCF took home second place, and we could not be happier! Each year we have improved, and we’re going for gold next year!


Obviously, we headed to the bar to celebrate.




It was a blast!


Sunday morning, we had to get on the bus at 10:00 am, which felt way too early. Our hotel stay came with free Waffle House brunch, and I never pass up free food.




Welcome to Affle house.




Ten hours later, I was back at home, crashing in my bed!


I had a great weekend, and am so proud of UCF!!


❤ MegaNerd

Kicking Booty

We are rocking this conference, and having a blast while we’re at it!




We have been going non-stop every since we arrived. Friday night, we walked over to the Ruby Tuesday for a group dinner. It takes a LONG time to get 55 students their dinner, and it was almost 10:00pm by the time we ate.




I was STARVING, so I ordered both the spring rolls appetizer




…stocked up at the salad bar…




…and had a couple of Sam Adams beers.




I also met my two lovely roommates for the weekend! They are so sweet!




Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to the Auburn campus, which by the way is gorgeous! It feels so much more traditional than UCF.




Our competitions were all over the school, and I got to see most of it.






My first competition was Transportation, which I was the captain of. It turned out pretty bad, because it wasn’t really what we expected at all. It’s only a tiny portion of the weekend, so I didn’t really let it bother me.


After my competition, we watched a few presentations, and headed over to the Balsa Dome competition. Ours is the one on the right hand side that looks like its made with way more wood than all the others. It held alot, but since it was really heavy our ratio was a little low.




Next, we tested our concrete cylinder. It’s really fun to put it in “the crusher”.




Half way through the day, we broke for Lunch on the Lawn.

IMG_0199 IMG_0200


When lunch time rolled around, I was STARVING! I had a Clif bar and an apple on the bus but it didn’t really hold me. I was so happy to receive my free Chick-fila sandwich.




After lunch, ten of us headed over for the construction competition. We broke into three teams of three plus an extra person. Each team was designated as:

  • Design
  • Materials
  • Construction




The first team, the Design team, had thirty minutes to design a tower that could be built using only office supplies. They couldn’t touch the materials, they only knew what we would have to work with. They had to leave detailed plans for the materials people to come behind and prep the stuff.




We weren’t allowed to talk to the designers, or the people cutting our materials. I was in the third group, construction, and had to follow the directions that the other two groups had left for us. Luckily, we had a great group and we finished in plenty of time!




The towers are judged on a few things including how closely we came to matching the original design (we were spot on!), structural sound (ours was rock solid!), creativity (maybe lacking), and aesthetics.


The other schools had some nice designs, so we’ll see how we place!




We then raced over to catch the steel bridge competition, and we almost missed it! The team works all year for this, and they did an awesome job. Wish I could show you!


Try and copy that epic bridge, punks!!



Friday was a long, draining day, but I still managed to muster up energy for a run! I met up with a blog reader from Auburn, Marianne, for a foot tour of the town.




We ran somewhere between 5.0-6.0 miles (I didn’t have my Garmin) through downtown, campus, and up and down hills.


She was so sweet (and speedy!) It was wonderful to meet a new friend! Marianne even brought me goodies!!!!




Oh man, I definitely got my butt kicked by those hills. I have lost so much endurance and speed since running the marathon! (I took about four weeks off running and am just getting back into it.)


After our run, and working on some competition stuff, I dragged my friends out to a restaurant recommended by Marianne, Amsterdam Cafe!




I dove straight into the bread. It was warm, flaky, and buttery. I died and went to carb heaven.




I got the worlds’ BEST SALAD! Ok… I was just really hungry.




Seriously, though. Grilled Salmon, warmed mango, pecans, and sweet rum vinaigrette? Can’t go wrong!


I sucked down so many glasses of water, I could have been mistaken for a camel.




We LOVED it! Thanks, Marianne! 😀


Today was another full day of competition. We are off to the awards banquet! I will be back in the morning to recap the rest of the trip!




❤ MegaNerd

Auburn Bound + ASCE 2009

I’m currently blogging from the road!


The charter bus picked us up this morning, and we are off to Auburn University in Alabama! I’m heading there for this year’s Southeast Regional Conference.


(Last year’s conference, March 2009)



Since there isn’t much happening right now other than a whole lot of sleeping (and eating trail mix) I figured I’d recap LAST YEAR’s conference! It’s set up basically the same every year.


Last year around the same time, about 55 ASCE members packed the bus and headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.




It was a super cold and wintery looking weekend, but still pretty!




Civil Engineering involves many different aspects covering pretty much everything that makes a city “civilized”. Think running water, roads, buildings, infrastructure, etc.


The conference has several different competitions, and a few members participate in each. Last year, I participated in the transportation competition.


Friday is the main conference day. We all go around and support each other and cheer one another on. It all starts with testing the concrete canoes.





Yep, canoes made of concrete. We named ours, Krack Killz





We race them on Saturday, so they have to be checked for safety. They are submerged in water, and they have to float to the top to pass the test.




See all the cool layers?




Then there is Balsa Wood bridge. Super thin wood + glue + heavy load until it cracks. Strongest one for least amount of wood wins!




…and Concrete Cylinder (trying to make the best mix design)…




…and everyone’s favorite, Steel Bridge!




Saturday is spent at the lake. This is when we get to race the canoes!




Racing the canoe is hard, but they make it look easy!





It was freezing last year, I’m crossing my fingers for nice weather!


Once all the competitions are done, points are added and winners are selected. Saturday night is all about the banquet. We get dressed up, have a fancy dinner and let loose!




I wish I would have been blogging last year, the food was EPIC! Don’t worry, I’ll take the camera this time.


Last year we placed third overall! Go UCF!




Everyone works very hard to get here and I really hope that we can do well again this year!


(Note the short dark hair and bangs… maybe I should do that again?)



This year, I am the captain of the transportation team! One of my members got sick, so I’m a bit nervous but I think we will be fine.


We just got to Auburn, and I’m off to the captains’ meeting! I can’t wait to share the weekend with you all.


Were you a part of any professional organizations in college? Have you been on a “field trip” to a conference before?


❤ MegaNerd