The Lakewood High Physics Boat Regatta

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Sara Crawford

On March 7th, current Lakewood High physics put their cardboard boat building skills to the test in the 15th annual boat regatta. These students spent about five weeks working on building their cardboard boats with untreated cardboard and clear packing tape.  Using their building skills and math they calculated to work perfectly for them, these teams of four students worked together creating the perfect boat.

Not only does this effect their grade, but there is also the chance of winning Cedar Point tickets for first place and for second through fourth, a discount on tickets for Physics Day in May. Points depended on how far you got in the pool — hopefully you could at least get off the starting line to get 170 points.

To have these students work on building a boat may seem like a lot of work, especially for the five weeks they have to get it done, but it helps students learn Archimede’s principle. Archimede’s principle states “that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces and acts in the upward direction at the center of mass of the displaced fluid” (Wikipedia). So, it basically explains how these boats with two students in them can float across the pool.

The Physics Boat Regatta gives these physics students a chance to have a hands-on experience with these principles.