On April 21, the Blue Valley High School Physics class competed in The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta against students from Rock Creek High School Physics class. Students raced at the Onaga Hospital Pool. The Great Cardboard Boat Regatta originated in 1974 at Southern Illinois University. Regattas are enjoyed across the United States by more than 1,500 participants and more than 100,000 spectators each spring and summer.
Working in teams of two, students completed this engineering challenge by constructing a life-size boat made only of corrugated cardboard and duct tape. To successfully complete the challenge, their boat should transport two people the length of a swimming pool. At the end of the project, students were evaluated by how far their boats traveled.
Students learned about Archimedes' Principle and buoyancy by constructing scale models of their boats and testing them. They then modified their models and retested, as needed. Once they had a design that floated and was able to hold their adjusted mass, students began constructing their life-size boats.
Although it was their first time racing, Blue Valley's student teams rowed quite well. Blue Valley had two of their teams place in the top four boats racing. In all, eleven boats raced. Blue Valley brought six boats and Rock Creek brought five.