PHS Cardboard Boats 2023

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PHS students, faculty race cardboard boats in pool

Posted March 27, 2023

Plymouth High School accelerated physics classes recently put their learning to the test by racing cardboard boats in the school pool – followed for the first time by a faculty race.

Students were challenged to apply what they learned in a recent unit on buoyancy by designing and building the lightest and fastest boat possible – using only a cardboard box and a roll of duct tape.

The activity requires students to take a project from design through construction to performance, said physics teacher Paul Krzyzaniak, who has been running the event for nearly 25 years.

The winner – who receives extra credit and bragging rights – is determined based on the weight of the boat and the time it takes to go 100 yards (down and back the length of the pool twice).

Nine teams raced their boats March 14, in front of a balcony full of observers. Six successfully traveled the 100 yards. This year’s winning team was Eli Steiner and Ethan Kawa.

New this year was a faculty heat using student-built boats (see video below), featuring:

  • Science teachers Mark Vollbrecht and Brett Young
  • Science teacher Kevin Butters and counselor Erik West
  • Science teachers Paul Krzyzaniak and Jason Jaeckels