Kestrel students race cardboard boats
PRESCOTT - It is a new thought to create something that would not last.
The purpose of the exercise, Kestrel High School junior Frank Seglar said, "Was how to build something and not be attached to it; to make something and destroy it."
Teacher Ron Harvey asked his creative arts students build to boats out of cardboard and duct tape, knowing the boats would deteriorate when wet.
The students worked in teams to design a cardboard-and-duct-tape boat that would hold one or two people. The student's only limitation was their imagination and the amount of cardboard and duct tape they wanted to use. Harvey supplied the first roll of duct tape.
Harvey got most of the cardboard from packing cartons at Costco.
However, Kestrel Director Sue Foglia said no stray piece of cardboard was safe. She said students searched the school halls and would even stop if they saw cardboard on the side of the road.
After three weeks of designing and building their boats, the students launched them Thursday afternoon at the diving well at the YMCA swimming pool.
With a mighty yell of "Kestrel" the contest began - who's boat would complete the race course the fastest? Who's would stay afloat the longest?
In the first of two heats, sopho-more Jannea Davis and senior Amanda Embree competed with the Pink Astronaut. Despite their plan to "paddle as fast as possible," they sank just feet away from the starting line.
Sophomore Sara Sullivan won the first heat with a smooth, even stroke. She may have looked like a pro, but Sara said she had never paddled before.
The second heat was too close to call, with the competitors keeping a steady rhythm, but straying into each other.
Then, it was sudden death time; time to see who could stay afloat the longest. All six boats were back in the running.
This time, Harvey said the students could sabotage each other, but they had to be in their boat.
While the others were fighting amongst themselves, Sara hugged the wall, quietly paddling through the water. She made it to the halfway mark, but when she turned for home, the other contestants pounced. It was not long before she capsized.
Sara righted her boat and got back in. Even with water in the hull, it continued to float.
Seglar designed the boat Sara crewed.
"The design was from a basic kayak. I cut out one piece of cardboard and them built it layer by layer. We used five and a half rolls of duct tape," Sara said.
Harvey said he wanted the students to "think outside the box; that it is the effort, not the final results that count."
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