Thursday, two science classes from Eagle Ridge Junior High staged a regatta with boats of their own deisgn.
The first-annual boat race was chosen by the students for a year-end class project after much brainstorming. The class discussed making bottle rockets, building a potato cannon, launching a weather balloon or converting bacon grease into energy. Student Monica Burt said they ultimately chose the boat race because it offered a fun, simple idea that incorporated both competition and teamwork.
Three weeks ago they set to work designing and building their boats. Science Teacher Kerry Hoeschen said the project was an exercise in problem solving and light engineering. One boat had a bicycle body for steering apparatus. Other contending rafts were made of buckets or large tupper-ware containers.
Lesson learned? Even the best laid plans can send you into the drink.
"It was a challenge," said Burt and her shipmates, Ann Marie Engebretson, Jessica Edwards and Courtney Miller. "Our was tipsy because the base wasn't big enough."
Nevertheless, Hoeschen counted the race as a success.
"The kids really got into it. I’m really impressed with all of them," Hoeschen said. "And even if they weren't very seaworthy they had a good time. Not many of us will have a future career building boats."
The winning team from each class went head-to-head in one final round. The champions were a team from 3rd period who constructed an ultra-light canoe out of PVC pipe, clear plastic sheeting, and tape that cut swiftly through the water. In their craft the team was able to cover four lengths in one minute, 37 seconds. Team members were Blake Scollard, Colton Van Dorpe, Jacob Notermann, and Adam DeCurtains.
The runner up was a team made up of Jon Garbe, Jack Anderson, Sounaly Phommavongsa, and Lydia Bowen.
"They paddled their raft hard but couldn’t keep up with the faster, lighter canoe," Hoeschen reported.