Will it float? Home-schooled students test cardboard boats

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

It was a mix of smooth sailing and troubled seas for home-schooled students at Higgins Ferry Park on Oct. 4.

Two students and their families constructed boats from cardboard, pool noodles and duct tape in hopes of creating a seaworthy vessel to hold the student afloat long enough to complete a short course. A few other homeschool families came to watch.

Cardboard boat creations were set in the water, and a race began. The boat with a flat bottom had little trouble staying afloat and easily completed the course.

But, trouble came early for a canoe design as it kept tipping to one side.

Each boat was large enough for one student to sit in and paddle.

Eighth grader Maci Barbaree, who piloted the boat with the flat bottom, said she was inspired by a YouTube video for her design.

Maci Barbaree said she enjoyed being creative with the project. She said the boat ride was smoother but slower than she had expected.

Madison Davis, who is in second grade, said her boat took two days to complete. She and her family had created a design based on some they had seen. The boat was a canoe design with a pointed bottom. Madison said she enjoyed taping the various pieces of the boat together.

The cardboard boat race was organized by parent Amy Barbaree.

“My kids saw it online, and Maci wanted to do it, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to exercise our math and engineering skills,” Amy Barbaree said.

She said she enjoyed designing and building the boat with her daughter.

“On the YouTube videos, they were making ones that held eight or 10,” Amy Barbaree said.

She said the design came from one she had found for folding a paper boat.

Amy Barbaree said by folding the cardboard, there were fewer seams for water to get through.

Each student wore a life jacket during the race.