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SAIT victory set in stone

SAIT Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race Team beat out 22 other post-secondary schools from across Canada in the 2018 race.

SAIT took the top prize in this year's National Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race and a crowd of donors helped make it possible. The team beat out 22 other post-secondary schools from across Canada at the competition in Waterloo, ON, where each school raced a five-passenger toboggan with a concrete sliding surface.

Participants were judged on design, technical and business reporting, race performance, safety and team spirit. SAIT was singled out for its braking system, safety, structural design and overall team spirit.

Students raised $48,300 to pay for the entry including materials, manufacturing and shipping as well as airfare and accommodation for 24 people.

A hugely successful crowdfunding campaign assisted by SAIT Alumni and Development brought in $12,300 from 115 donors including friends, family and alumni.

"Not every donor was somebody we know personally," says Andrew Humphreys the team's treasurer. "We had complete strangers who just thought the project was cool and donated $5 or $10. When ten people do that, it can really add up; that pays for somebody's hotel room."

The balance of the budget was raised through fundraising events, contributions by corporate sponsors and SAIT grants listed on the team website.

Collaboration pays off

SAIT's team members were from multiple disciplines, including mechanical engineering, architectural technologies and financial services. The entry involved collaboration among the School of Construction, School of Manufacturing and Automation, and Applied Research and Innovation (ARIS), and others.

"This year, the chemistry on the team was absolutely amazing," says team president Abigail Watt, a second year mechanical engineering technology student.

Watt says winning against the competition, which included eight of Canada's top 10 engineering programs, is a testament to SAIT's education.

"It shows that SAIT's education is not only as good as we thought when we signed up, but it's even better," says the second-year mechanical engineering technology student."

"I'm extremely proud of our students," says Jim Szautner, Dean, School of Manufacturing and Automation, who had challenged this year's team to finish in the top three. "They proved that they can compete and win. It speaks volumes to the quality of our graduates. It also shows the quality of our faculty support."

The fundraising committee for the SAIT National Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race team:

  • Andrew Humphreys - Bachelor of Business Administration, Financial Services 3rd year
  • Abigail Watt - Mechanical Engineering Technology 2nd year
  • J. C. Campbell - Architectural Technology 2nd year
  • Emery Myers - Architectural Technology 1st year
  • Julio Jacome de Paz Mechanical Engineering Technology 1st year

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