A Great Day for a Boat Race

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Babylon Junior High School seventh-grade students taking Science 7 just completed an interesting experiment: the Mini Boat Regatta Lab. The classes were divided into three groups, with each group having to create a sailboat using only 100 Popsicle sticks and a small bottle of glue. 
 
Working together, the individual teams brainstormed how they would design their boat’s hull. They had four choices: a flat bottom, a vee bottom, a round bottom or a multi-hull model. They also had to agree on a group name and a name for their boat. All of their work leading up to the big race had to be completed within three class periods.
 
When the projects were finished, Director of Science and seventh-grade teacher Jeff Kenney’s students competed against the students in Mary Beth Schappert’s class in a boat race. Each group’s boat had 30 seconds to float down the homemade water track, constructed by Ms. Schappert’s father. Two groups, one representing each class, competed against each other until all had completed the race.
 
Awards were given out in five categories: the longest distance traveled, the fastest boat, the best boat design, the best boat name, and the fastest boat to sink. Yes, to sink. Some of the boats sank immediately upon entering the water. Others made it only halfway down the track before sinking. And some boats sailed easily to the finish line. Each winner had five points added to their lab grade.
 
In the end, three groups’ boats made it to the finish line: two from Mr. Kenney’s class and one from Ms. Schappert’s.
 
“Tomorrow, the students will analyze what they did right, what they did wrong, and how they could have made their boat better,” stated Mr. Kenney. “They will see how their boat performed compared to the class average. They will also look at the boats that performed the best and observe what it was about that boat’s design that helped it to win.”
 
All in all, it was a fine day for a race.