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Plastic Boat Challenge

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  1. Only plastic materials can be used.
  2. The maximum thickness of the plastic materials cannot exceed 1/4 inch.
  3. Only the approved tape (cheap, clear postal tape that is about two inches in width) and nylon twine can be used.
  4. Four paddles will be provided.

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Design Parameters:

Boats will be subject to a technical inspection and must follow these guidelines:

  1. Boats must be made from plastic. Any form of plastic is acceptable as long as the thickness of the plastic does not exceed 1/4 inch.
  2. The maximum length is six feet.
  3. The maximum width is five feet.
  4. There is no restriction on thickness, as long as it does not exceed five feet (and would therefore be considered as a length or width dimension).
  5. Only the approved form of tape and nylon twine can be used.
  6. You may not use any other materials other than the approved tape and nylon twine for attaching parts of your boats. No glue may be used. No "melting" of plastic may be done.
  7. The boat may not be wrapped in plastic, duct tape, shrink-wrap, or anything else. Only the seams and joints can be taped, not the entire boat.
  8. No appendages or any other part of your passengers may be in the water. No arms or legs may be in the water to assist with stability or propulsion. No part of any passenger may be touching the water.
  9. To qualify as a finisher, all teammates must be in the boat at the end of the race.
  10. You will work in lab groups of four per team.
  11. Extra credit will be awarded for a theme.
  12. You may arrange to have two friends assist you at the starting line while you "load" your boat.
  13. A shoreline start will be used. As soon as the whistle blows, you may begin to "load" your boat. As soon as all team members are in the boat, you may begin to paddle across the pool.

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Grading Guidelines:

  1. The plastic boat project will have the same weight as a test grade. It will consist of a total of 100 points, 20 points allotted for the group grade and 80 points allotted for the individual student report.
  2. Group grade:
  3. Individual student report:

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    Student Records:

    Rank Team Members Time in seconds Year Set
    1 Nick P., Curtis P., & Joe V. 28.07 2004
    2 Donnie M., Tara F., Kirsten K., & Casey S. 29.13 2004
    3 Susan K., Chris J., & Whitney H. 29.60 2004
    4 Daniella F., Jenni B., Kendall H., & Rob P. 31.29 2004
    5 Shannon G., Eduardo G., Jeremy R., & Javier B. 36.63 2001
    6 Aaron B., Tim B., Eric S., & Matt L. 37.38 2001
    7 Katherine B., Erin C., Tom S., & Michelle T. 40.00 2004
    8 Ashley A., Melissa H., Daniel K., & Jeff R. 40.25 2001
    9 Rami H., Nick McC., Jon M., & Lindsey A. 41.50 2002
    10 Jason V., Amy F., Nara K., & Preston M. 45.96 2004