Students find out what floats their boats

CHAZY - Students at Chazy Central Rural School spent Jan. 21 having fun in the school pool - all in the name of education.

Engineering teacher Kyle Syck and physics teacher Josh Wolosz, both first-year teachers at CCRS, worked together on a project for the students in their classes - making boats out of household items.

"The idea for the cardboard boat activity came from Josh," explained Syck. "He had done it at a school before and I also saw done in a district that I previously worked at. We both thought it would be a good activity for my principals of engineering class and his high school physics class."

The students, split into seven groups of three or four, spent a few days designing and preparing their boats. They received two 4x8 sheets of cardboard, three rolls of duct tape, and a 1"x 6" x 6' piece of pine wood.

"There are two objects for this activity. Well the first is obviously to construct a boat that floats out of the provided materials. Then there are two testing criteria," explained Syck.

The criteria is to try to have the fastest boat, and the best floating boat. The teams were split into a heat of three and a heat of four. The results varied considerably, with one team making it down and back in just over a minute, and a few other teams sinking before completing the race.

In terms of the best floating boat, Syck explained "the weight load is tested by having one member sit in their boat, it must stay afloat for 30 seconds. Then another student is added, so on and so forth, until the boat sinks."

Students were weighed before the activity to determine how much weight is being added to each boat.

"For the competition, the winning boat held approximately 400 pounds before sinking," said Syck.

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