Cardboard Boat Regatta Shows Fun of Physics

winning boat

Caleb Watson (left) and Devon Brown steered their boat to the fastest time.

Click here to see some of the fun in our Photo Gallery.


The 17th annual Lakewood High Physics Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by Tavens Packaging & Display Solutions once again showed that learning about physics and its principles can be a lot of fun and not every boat floats!

More than 100 junior and senior physics students, along with some spirited crews from Grant, Lincoln, and Roosevelt Elementary Schools, built boats made solely of corrugated cardboard and packaging tape. Two from each team then boarded the boat and made an attempt to cross the 25-yard pool at the March 5 event. Many made it, but plenty did not! The most notorious sinking crew was that of Principal Mark Walter and Associate Principal Brian Siftar. The two won major points for trying though!

The fastest four physics boats competed in a finals heat and the team of Devon Brown, D'Anthony Hanible, Tommy Sala, and Caleb Watson reached the end of the pool  with the fastest time of 17.5 seconds  to claim the regatta title. Their time was the  third-fastest in the race's history.

The high school students learned physics concepts as they constructed their boats, concepts such as buoyancy, density, Pascal's Principle, Archimede's Principle, ratio and displacement.


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