In Physics, students taught by a Mr. Jenks learn about momentum, speed, and a great deal of other things. Many students favored the most recent lab, the Buoyancy Lab.  In this lab students were given one goal: build a boat that can carry two people for as long as possible. During the first stage students had to complete a plan for their boat. They had to figure out how big would the boat need to be to carry the two people that were going to be in the boat. The next step was to build a model boat to see if your boat could actually hold the amount of weight it was supposed too. For the second step, students had two options. They could either use the school’s 3D printer to build their model boat or they could try it out on cardboard.

Photo by London Jenks

The third and last step for their boats was the actual building process. The students had limited supplies to make their boats out of. The boats could only be made of cardboard and duct tape, and the tape could only be used on the seams of the cardboard. Students could also buy more duct tape or things like contact cement to seal the edges. With this in mind everyone worked vigorously to meet the deadline each with their own style in mind. By the time the boats were finished, no two boats were the same. “We had in mind a boat that could carry five hundred pounds and not collapse under our weight” says Dakota Prosser.

Most of the boats performed well, but some did better than others. Some boats floated longer than others, and some didn’t float at all. “Student really like this project, and it is a good application of the concepts of forces and buoyancy that we cover in this unit.  I always have more fun when it’s cold outside,” said the physics teacher London Jenks.