We are an engineering student team from UBC that competes in the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR, Concrete Toboggan, or T-Bog for short). It is the oldest and largest engineering student competition in Canada. The goal is to design, construct, and race a toboggan with a sliding surface made of concrete. Toboggans must be under 300 pounds and carry five riders. Toboggans must have a braking system, steering system, and roll cage. The first race was held in 1974 in Red Deer, Alberta. The team is an opportunity for students to practice technical skills that they have learned in their classes, while improving teamwork and planning skills in a supportive atmosphere. Technical experience includes concrete design, steel design, construction safety, and lab techniques. Nontechnical experience includes teamwork, organization, communication, and scheduling. This is especially true for team members who choose to take on a lead planning or design task. This could come from planning activities, writing reports, calling meetings, coordinating with event organizers, and more.
Last year for the 2015 Kelowna competition, we had an amazing team turnout on the hill and some exciting new designs with steering and braking. While this new design lead to many unforeseen challenges, it was all worth it once we were up on the hill.
This year we are hoping to improve the connections between the different parts of the sled, revamp the brakes, go for a more streamlined roll cage, and try a couple of other new ideas to build a sled that exceeds all competition requirements and is ready ahead of time for testing.