A Steamboat Cardboard Classic of a different sort

Old Town Hot Springs’ inaugural boat race set for next week

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If you go

What: Cardboard Classic

Where: Old Town Hot Springs

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; fifth-graders Wed­nesday, middle-schoolers Thursday and high school students May 14.

Cost: $5 per student

To register: Call Jill Ruppel at 879-1828, ext. 311, or e-mail aquatics@sshra.org.

— Tasked with helping fifth-grade students build a cardboard boat designed for two that actually floats, science teacher Scott Furgueson at first was stumped.

“Personally I’ve never built one,” Furgueson said. “I had to really think about, ‘How are you going to do this?’ But they’re really into it and really excited about it.”

The boat building is part of Old Town Hot Springs’ inaugural Cardboard Classic Boat Race, designed to teach students about design and science dealing with buoyancy, structure strength and team work.

Students were asked to design and construct a cardboard boat out of duct tape and cardboard and race it 25 yards across the swimming pool.

The race takes place for fifth-graders Wednesday, for middle-schoolers Thursday and for high school students May 14. All the races are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be awards for the three fastest boats and three most creative boats.

For Furgueson, the process started earlier in the year when students studied models and designs. When the project came up, the students studied and designed their boats. They made models out of cardboard and soon realized that sometimes their designs weren’t feasible.

“With cardboard, they were doing models of their boats,” Furgueson said. “They found out (that) some of what they’ve started drawing is a lot harder to make.”

Most of the design elements for students were done at home. Boats can be 8 feet in length and 3 feet across. Students can use as much cardboard as they want, as well as Elmer’s water-soluble glue.

Only one roll of duct tape can be used to stabilize the structure, but unlimited duct tape can be used to decorate the boat.

Boats have to be designed to hold a two-person race crew. A third person can help stabilize the boat.

To register, for more information or a set of rules, call Jill Ruppel at 879-1828, ext. 311, or e-mail aquatics@sshra.org. Regis­trations are due by 5 p.m. Mon­day. The cost is $5 per student.

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