What­ever floats your boat

Stu­dents race re­cy­cled ves­sels at Lackey

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JamieACIndyNews

Stu­dents at Henry E. Lackey High School learned what it takes to “float your boat” dur­ing a home­made boat race held in the school swimming pool Mon­day.

The “What­ever Floats Your Boat Re­gatta II” was held Mon­day dur­ing stu­dents’ free pe­riod, pit­ting stu­dents from ad­vanced place­ment chem­istry, AP physics, AP en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence and AP psy­chol­ogy classes against each other as they raced to the fin­ish line in boats of their own de­sign made en­tirely of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als.

Stu­dents had one week to re­search, de­sign and build their boats, said AP en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence teacher Racheal Wild­ing-Ri­zor, who or­ches­trated the event.

“They were al­lowed to use any­thing re­cy­cled; the only non­re­cy­cled ma­te­rial that they were per­mit­ted to use was duct tape, and that was it,” Wild­ing-Ri­zor said. “In­clud­ing the pad­dle, that had to be re­cy­cled too.”

Wild­ing-Ri­zor said they had to find the re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als them­selves.

“Some peo­ple brought stuff from home, some peo­ple went around the school and emp­tied out the re­cy­cling bins, stuff like that,” Wild­ing-Ri­zor said.

Each boat was pi­loted by one stu­dent, us­ing a pad­dle made of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, Wild­ing-Ri­zor said.

“It’s not just about mak­ing the boat, but about get­ting the boat from one side of the pool to the other,” Wild­ing-Ri­zor said.

Stu­dents did not have an op­por­tu­nity to test the sea­wor­thi­ness their boats be­fore­hand, and some of the boats sank at the start or broke up on the way to the fin­ish line.

Sarah Colt­man, an 11th grader, was within a few feet of the fin­ish line when her boat broke up, dunk­ing her in the deep end of the swimming pool.

“Our construction wasn’t as good as it could have been. Our ma­te­ri­als were good but we ran out of duct tape, so it started fill­ing up with wa­ter. By the end it filled up with too much wa­ter, and fell apart,” Colt­man said.

Colt­man said she learned a lot about en­gi­neer­ing prin­ci­ples from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“You’ve got to think things out and ac­count for things,” Colt­man said.

Se­nior Court­ney Alvey rowed her boat, the S.S. Outta Here, to the fin­ish line first, win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion, along with her team­mates, fel­low se­niors Mar­cayla Con­nell, Philip Marini and Ron­drell Marshall from the AP en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence class.

Marshall said the boat was con­structed us­ing a plas­tic con­tainer sur­rounded by sty­ro­foam pad­ding and duct tape.

“We found a video on­line that we got some ideas from,” Marshall said.

Alvey said the pad­dle was made from a piece of wood that was be­ing thrown out.

Wild­ing-Ri­zor said the com­pe­ti­tion was not only a fun way to un­wind near the end of the school year, but also ed­u­ca­tional for the stu­dents.

“It ties a num­ber of dif­fer­ent con­cepts into an in­quiry-based as­sign­ment. Al­though it’s a lot of fun, and they re­ally enjoy it, it’s also teach­ing them about work­ing in a team to ac­tu­ally make a prod­uct, iden­tify re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als, buoy­ancy is some­thing they have to take into con­sid­er­a­tion,” Wild­ing-Ri­zor said. “It re­ally is a rig­or­ous as­sign­ment, but we trick them, by mak­ing it fun, which it is.”

Henry Lackey High School se­nior Court­ney Alvey of the “S.S. Outta Here” team took an early lead in the school’s re­cy­cled boat race Mon­day.

From left, Henry Lackey High School stu­dents Francesca Rothell, Mariel San­tos and D.J. Nel­son take part in a re­cy­cled boat race held in the swimming pool Mon­day.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

Stu­dent teams at Henry Lackey High School pre­pare to launch their boats in the school swimming pool. The school held a re­cy­cled boat race Mon­day.

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