Annual "Cardboard Boat" Races


SAN ANTONIO – Some Northeast ISD physics students hit the water on Friday afternoon to show off what they've learned this year.

NEISD held their annual cardboard boat races at the Blossom Athletic Center Pool Friday afternoon and the challenge was to paddle across the pool in a boat made up of only cardboard and duct tape.

Many students made it across the pool, but a lot of teams didn't.

"I don't know," said Sierra Salinas, a junior at Churchill High School, whose boat didn't make it across. "Maybe we needed thicker cardboard or more layers because ours just collapsed."

"It just fell through," said Micky Wolf, another Churchill student. "The bottom fell through on us."

The physics students not only had to build a cardboard boat that was stable enough to hold two students, but the students also needed to paddle it across the pool in less than two minutes.

"There's logistics on how to get it across the pool on time," said Wesley Hausenfluke, a physics teacher at Ronald Reagan High School. "So, there's a lot of lessons that you don't think about ahead of time that they're responsible for. They're not coached in class. They do this independently outside of class."

More than 200 boats were entered in the races and every student strived to win by trying to get across the pool with the fastest time.

However, even for the winners, there were challenges.

"Cutting the cardboard was very difficult," said Erika Galindo, a student at Reagan High School. "And, making sure that the boat was even all around."

"Finding the cardboard," said Delanie Guajardo, another student from Reagan High School. "I mean it looks easy to find, but it's not."

However, some students just had fun with their projects, from flaunting pirate themed costumes and to designing floating tank.

At the end of the race, everyone learned something.

"I did density calculations to see how much displacement we were going to put off," said Grayson Magnuson, an 11th grad physics student.

"Working together as group, cooperation, and design," said Jillian Kouzel, Magnuson's teammate.