Sinking boats still carry lessons


Daisy Ramirez

Junior Yailette Ibarra falls into the pool as teammate Favor Rogers continues trying to steer their sinking boat during fourth period.

Gabby Norman and Camilla Escobar

Boat races in physics have proven to be one of the school’s most-loved traditions, whether the boat floats or not.

The goal was to make a boat made up of mostly cardboard, and then put two teammates in it and have them row a full lap and back in the natatorium, their paddle having to touch each wall in order to count.

Junior Davey Ramirez and senior Michael Smith tip over during their fourth period boat race. (Daisy Ramirez)

There were many great successes and smiles on Wednesday and Thursday, but the biggest laughs came from the people that just couldn’t quite make it. 

Juniors Yailette Ibarra, Favor Rogers, Austin Carris and Charles Norman found out that their boat just wouldn’t float the hard way – they fell in. 

“We sunk because our boat was too short,” Ibarra said. “We needed it to be taller and as we were turning water came into the sides.”

The group had tested the boat, made out of cardboard, a solid wood frame, and duck tape twice before, with minor issues on both attempts, but the group was confident.

“When we tested it the first time we were just glad it floated,” Norman said. “But the second time we tested it, apparently holes got in it and people’s socks got wet.”

The boat started off strong, leading it’s heat until its demise. 

“During the race the boat was winning but the soggy cardboard finally caved and the boat went down,” Norman said. 

This was the experience of many of the amatuer boaters, with some never even making it from the start. Some of the biggest issues tended to be from errors waterproofing, a design miscalculation, or even issues with steering.

“I would say to make sure to duct tape your boat really good,” Ibarra said. “Have a lot of saran wrap, trash bags, and make your boat really tall, but not too tall so that you can’t steer.”

Even though there were some failures, smiles were found throughout the natatorium as students got to test their experiments. The successes were sweet, and the learning experiences led to a rewarding dip in the pool.

“I learned a lot of teamwork and having to work with different mindsets,” Ibarra said. “I learned how to build a boat with people I don’t usually talk to. I expanded my horizons.”