College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Student organization’s “concrete hearts” spread Valentine’s Day cheer this February

Claire Palmer holding a red concrete heart towards the camera

Members of the Concrete Canoe Club in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering are beginning their third year of Valentine’s Day cheer as they build and sell their very own creation: concrete hearts.

Since the Fall of 2020, the club has been selling concrete hearts each February in various colors using leftover concrete that they don’t want to waste. Students in the club all come together to batch, mold, sand, paint and sell the concrete hearts. What started as just a few hearts in 2020 turned into 150 orders last year, and is now already at 80 sales just with pre-orders for 2023.

Claire Palmer, a junior in construction engineering, was a part of the initial year of the concrete hearts, and is a part of the Concrete Canoe Club leadership team and concrete heart creation process today. Palmer says that while the concrete heart creations first started with a need to use some extra concrete, the club also enjoys the winter project to not only use up extra materials, but to continue learning about concrete.

“The concrete hearts started as an idea to reuse some concrete mix,” Palmer said. “And we like to continue making hearts every year because it is another way to keep people involved in concrete during the winter season.”

This year, the team is implementing a pre-order opportunity for the concrete hearts. By pre-ordering, users can select the color and amount of concrete hearts they would like ahead of time, and pick them up in the Town Engineering lobby February 9th and 10th, from 9-5. With a different variation of colors than last year, this year the club is offering pink, red, white, light purple, light blue, and unpainted concrete hearts.

Three CCEE students holding concrete hearts towards the camera