Designs Put To The Test In Student Cardboard Boat Regatta - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Designs Put To The Test In Student Cardboard Boat Regatta

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Dozens of students set sail across the Middle Park Lagoon in Bettendorf Friday, but only a handful made it back, still dry.

They were competing in the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, a friendly competition between schools on the design of watercraft made exclusively out of cardboard.

Tyler Akker, a Junior at Pleasant Valley High School, made it across the pond and back using cardboard tubes for oars and a boat with a triangle bow.

"We went with kind of a more dynamic design, but we had a wider base to keep it from tipping from side to side," he said. It worked. By mid-morning, Akker's team was in second place.

The event is sponsored by the Quad City Engineering and Science Council. Each team must create a boat using cardboard that must stay afloat for 600 yards. No metal fasteners are allowed but glue or tape can be used at the joints. PVHS Industrial Tech teacher Matt Stutenberg says it's a project that gives students a broad experience.

"This project is an excellent way for us to actually take these students through the engineering design process, so they do everything from research to calculating the volume of the boat, to calculating the water displacement, then they go out and fabricate the boats in the wood shop and then we come out here and we test them at the lagoon," Stutenberg said.

Eight schools with 42 teams participated this year, which is the largest group since the competition began 10 years ago.