Cardboard Boat Regatta a Hit Physics Experiment

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- What do you get when you mix Lakewood high school kids, a piece of cardboard, a swimming pool and a physics experiment?

How about, Cardboard Boat Regatta.

"This is our 10th edition," said Lakewood physics teacher Dave Hille.

The rules are simple.

"Students were given six weeks to build a boat using only untreated, brown cardboard and clear packing tape," said Hille.

Some of these boats were constructed in hours.

"We had to figure out the volume of our cardboard boat and the mass of everyone in it," said senior Devan Holian.

And some took weeks to complete.

"We did all the math to make sure that our boat was 40-60% submerged," Senior Courtney Shaw said.

The Cardboard Boat Regatta is part of an educational experience at Lakewood High School.

It's actually part of their physics class.

The kids had to use a little bit of logic and a whole lot of math.

"It actually took a while to do all the math to make sure we wanted the boat to be precise," said Shaw.

Over 160 seniors and juniors participated in the event.

"If the calculations are right you can actually get the boat to float," junior Jordan Anderson said.

There were small boats.

"They can design this boat anyway they want," Hille said.

And over-sized boats.

"I've learned more about density and volume," said Anderson.

Some groups had strategies.

"The heaviest person would have to go in the middle, the lightest would have to be a little bit near the front," Anderson said.

Others weren't able to get their boat past the start line.

"You have to make sure it has a longer length and that they have room inside the boat and that they can actually get in there and get going," said senior Odell Brown.

No matter how you reached the finish line...

"It's a lot of fun!" exclaimed Holian.

...it was a lesson these students won't soon forget.

"When I do class work I just feel like I'm doing it but when I'm actually doing hands on activity I feel like I'm learning more," said Shaw.

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