Middle School STEM class designs boats, hosts regatta

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNELL
Outlook staff writer

Eighteen Laurel Middle School 7th and 8th graders from Mrs. Abrams’ STEM class staged at the Locomotive Fitness Center pool to race the cardboard boats they created as a class project on Tuesday.

There were six teams of three students who engineered a boat designed to carry two people using nothing but cardboard and clear packing tape.
Abrams said “students were provided a list of ‘official rules’ that limited the number of layers of cardboard and that could be used as well as the amount of tape at each attachment point. The boats could not exceed a specified size and needed to be able to carry two student passengers a minimum of one length of the fitness center pool” using canoe and rafting paddles.
The competition consisted of two boats racing each other in heats, with the winner advancing to the next round.
It was festive environment as some kids were in costume and others had their faces painted.
The biggest challenge for the smaller boats was boarding them while staying afloat. The “S.S. Floorbound,” created by Bailey Graves, Abigail Molm, and Tanner Knaub flipped as it was boarded and they were greeted with good-natured laughter and cheers of encouragement from their classmates.
The most unique design was the “Water Skipper,” a hybrid of a cataraft and a Hawaiian outrigger canoe. Unfortunately the cardboard “tubes” didn’t have enough volume to keep two kids afloat, and sank almost immediately.
The “S.S. Phantom,” piloted by Ava Fox and Kaiya Graves, and the “No Names,” paddled by Brayden Bennington and Mya Hansen were the only two boats still floating after two heats and they squared off in the regatta finale.
The “S.S. Phantom” led most of the race before it started shipping water, slowly sinking. The “No Names” craft paddled in circles in the middle of the pool and cruised to the finish after the Phantom went to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Abrams said other aspects of the project included the calculation of a sink line as well as the creation of a comprehensive video of the entire project by each team.
“The videos will be finished by each team upon completion of race day so the students can include their boat race footage,” she said.
The fastest lap time was by the “S.S. Phantom,” created by Ava Fox, Kaiya Graves and Ethan Riedesel and the sturdiest boat was the “No Names,” engineered by Mya Hansen, Brayden Bennington and Eli Weisenberger, which survived the regatta mostly intact.
Abrams said the STEM class has plans to make solar powered cars in the spring.

STEM Teams
1. “Old Timer” - Wesley Tschacher, Cassie Sampson, Sarah Thomae
2. “S.S. Floorbound” - Bailey Graves, Abigail Molm, Tanner Knaub
3. “No Names” - Mya Hansen, Brayden Bennington, Eli Weisenberger
4. “S.S. Phantom” - Ava Fox, Kaiya Graves, Ethan Riedesel
5.”Water Skipper” - Pason Gage, Morgan Maynard, Ret Bruner
6. “Poseidon” - Maggie Dolechek, Brianna Linday, Katie LeBrun

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
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Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
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