jump to navigation

The Gutterboat Challenge December 14, 2012

Posted by bsciencecenter in Science Center.
Tags: , ,
trackback

Every year, Burlington fifth graders put their engineering skills to the test in “The Gutterboat Challenge,” a friendly competition between students (and classes!) to see who can build the fastest styrofoam-hull boat. While the type of fan varies from school to school, all students must design and construct a boat that can travel the distance of a plastic gutter, much like the one you might find on a home!

IMG_2639

The Design Process

All students are provided with a block of styrofoam and the instructions that they may use any materials available to them at home or school. They are also instructed on the design or engineering process through an introductory lesson by Mr. Musselman before being left to their own research on boat design and collaborative brainstorming.

Gutterboat Challenge introduction by Mr. M.

The entire challenge takes between one to two weeks with an opportunity to do a “test run” in between the introduction and final testing phase. It is here many students find flaws with their boats (too light, unable to catch wind, unbalanced, etc.) that they are then expected to redesign and adjust.

IMG_2657

On the final day anticipation builds as each student gets the chance to race against the clock on the main stage. Not all boats are successful but all present a learning opportunity. The winning time of Pine Glen’s Gutterboat Challenge this year 07.05 seconds. Can’t wait to see if that time will be topped at another school!

About these ads

Comments»

No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers

%d bloggers like this: