Matthew C. Perry High Schoolers sink or swim in science competition
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Matthew C. Perry High School students struggled to stay afloat during their cardboard boat science competition held at the IronWorks pool aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, March 12, 2015.
A combined 72 students of 10th and 11th graders had three days to engineer a boat using only cardboard and packing tape.
To win the competition, the boat must sustain a 50-meter venture in the Olympic sized pool with two passengers, one of whom would use a handmade, cardboard paddle to row.
“The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Committee assigned members to coordinate this contest to test and strengthen the student’s mathematics and science skills,” said Charles Betz, a science teacher at M.C. Perry high School and main coordinator of the event. “They did have fun and we try to keep them busy in things that could be practical for challenges in life; here’s a task, design something, put it together and make it work.”
One by one, the 14 teams entered the water to either sink or swim, and to see whose handmade vessel would carry on as the first place winner.
“It feels pretty awesome to be the best out of everyone and we enjoyed competing,” said Spencer Boucher, a 10th grader of M.C. Perry and paddler of the first place team. “We learned a lot about the elements of math and science such as buoyancy and we worked as a team, that’s how we were successful.”