My students need 35 gallons of glue to construct cardboard boats that they will test out on a lake.
"Scientists dream about doing things. Engineers do them."-James A. Michener. Although we teach problem solving and critical thinking skills in American high schools, we need to give students collaborative tasks to challenge the application of these skills
My students are high school kids ranging in age from 15 to 18.
They attend a public high school with a traditional option and the International Baccalaureate Program. 40% of our school's population qualifies for free and reduced lunch. 18% of our students are English Language Learners. My physics classes are representative of this population. My students have worked hard to acquire the math skills to take physics. Almost all of my students are bound for a university education. This project keeps them interested in pursuing engineering at the collegiate level in addition to fostering team work and creativity.
The Physics Cardboard Regatta is a culminating engineering activity for the college preparatory physics classes each year. Students form teams and construct a boat made from corrugated cardboard and white glue. The goal is to build a boat that will travel the farthest before it sinks. The boat must carry a minimum of two students at least 100 feet to qualify. After that, the race begins to complete as many laps as possible in 15 minutes. May 2015 celebrated the 22nd year of the Physics Cardboard Boat Regatta. The winning boat carried two students 35 laps. Each year the designs improve. Granting each group a gallon of glue to build the boat eliminates a financial burden for the students. Students attend a neighborhood clean-up the week before the race in order to thank the homeowners for allowing us to test our boats on their lake. Each spring there is more support for the event. Students learn not only about engineering, but about team work and contributing to community.
Former participants in the boat race still contact me to share that this event inspired them to pursue a degree in engineering.
One former participant e-mailed me photos of cardboard bookshelves he created in college when he was short on cash. Since then, he returned to our school as a teacher and is instrumental in our geometry in construction engineering curriculum. The boat race not only inspires our high school STEM students, but it has grown into a community event.
Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Mrs. Bibbey is requesting.See our finances
|GLUE WHITE GALLON EA - SCHOOL SMART • School Specialty||$15.77||35||$551.95|
Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.View complete list Show less