Winning boats wipe out the competition


Rhian Davis

Junior Vivian Garcia celebrates and her group’s boat stays afloat during the fifth period physics boat races on Wednesday.

Shelby Townsend, Staff Writer

Celebrations took place for two days as students tested out their boats in physics class and stayed afloat. 

Juniors Dylan Armstrong and Ethan Ott try to steer their way to the end of the pool. They decorated their boat with a photo of physics teacher Glenn Taylor. (Jayla White)

On Wednesday and Thursday, physics classes competed in boat races in the school’s natatorium. Students had to construct their own boats from scratch and try to successfully keep their projects afloat.

Teams enjoy being creative and working together,” physics teacher Glenn Taylor said. “Then when they complete their boat and successfully float in our KPark pool, they see physics in action.” 

Boats had to be at least 75% cardboard, but were also permitted to use other materials for framing or support. Forming teams and coming up with themes, students could win a different array of awards, ranging from the fastest finish to the most spectacular sink.

“My favorite part of the project was testing it a couple nights beforehand because that was really the moment to tell if this thing works or not,” junior Emma Yeager said. 

Each boat had to cross the pool and return to the other side with two students rowing the boat. A year ago, only one student was allowed in the boat because of COVID restrictions. The year before that, the races were canceled because everyone was working from home virtually.  

The students enjoyed normal rules returning this year as they hit the pool. During the first day of the races, first, third, fifth and seventh period boats competed. Yeager’s group took the winning title in first period. During third period, senior Ian Ganem’s group dominated. 

“It felt pretty good to win, because I felt like all of our engineering flaws got ironed out at the last minute,” Ganem said. 

Second, fourth and sixth period classes competed Thursday. Each group cheered each other on as they tried to figure out who would sink and who would float. 

“It’s one thing to have a boat that works, but to have the best performing boat in your class is fun,” said Yeager.