Students of the Florida International University were challenged to create water shoes and use them in reaching the other side of the 175-foot campus lake in order to receive an "A" on Architecture professor Jaime Canaves' Materials and Methods Construction Class.
"It's traditional in a school of architecture to do boats out of cardboard for a boat race. I thought our students were a little bit more special than that. We decided to do the walk on water event to take it to the next level," Canaves shared.
Alex Quinones, who created oversized boat-like shoes, finished the race in a recorded time of over a minute and won $500 prize for his hard work. Last year, he also won the race and revealed that his secret for success is his legs. "Second year in a row of bragging rights. The shoes are part of it but if you don't have the legs, then you're not going anywhere," Quinones said.
This year, 79 students participated in the challenging race. With the 41 teams competing, only 10 were unsuccessful in crossing the lake. Aside from the students, any person in the community was given the chance to join the race and have fun. The youngest person to ever take part in the race was a 9-year-old girl while the oldest was a 67-year-old female student.
Some students struggled in maintaining their balance while walking on the water with their created shoes. Those who fell during the race managed to get back up, continued the walk and made it to the other side of the lake. Professor Canaves and the crowd happily cheered for the participants during the competition. Even though Professor Canaves shouted encouraging words, he also made fun for those who unsteadily made their way to the end. "You are almost there," the professor joked on the microphone.
According to Professor Canaves, the annual race teaches the students a lesson in life and architecture. "A part of this is for them to understand designing and making something that has to work. There are very few things that are impossible if you do the research and you test it and you go through the design process. You can achieve almost anything and everything, including walking on water," Professor Canaves said.