Cardboard boat races are part of Spirit Week at WLHS

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Oct. 17, 2013
TJ Sczcepanski, Dalton Bertrand and Kevin Kalvin won the cardboard boat race during Spirit Week at Windsor Locks High School. Photos by Lisa Stone.
TJ Sczcepanski, Dalton Bertrand and Kevin Kalvin won the cardboard boat race during Spirit Week at Windsor Locks High School. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Spirit Week at Windsor Locks High School got off to a fun and exciting start on Oct. 8, as the two pre-engineering classes exhibited their cardboard boat projects at the school’s swimming pool.

The classes were asked to design and create boats made of cardboard, duct tape and sealant. The rules were that each boat would be asked to enter the pool at one end, paddle to the other end, switch operators, return to the other end and repeat for a total of two full trips back and forth across the length of the pool. The boat was to hold 250 pounds and be in operating condition when the mission was complete. A total of 30 students from both classes entered the race. In the end, the winner was the boat created by TJ Sczcepanski, Dalton Bertrand and Kevin Kavlin.

“The students have been working on their projects since the beginning of the school year,” said teacher Kyle Jordan. “The idea is to make the students start to think like an engineer. They had to envision the boat, draw the design and work out all the details so that the boat will be the most efficient vessel. It also has to be durable enough to make it back and forth twice without falling apart or softening to the point that the student falls through. I am truly proud of all of my students for all the imagination and hard work they have put into their projects.”

“It took us two to three weeks to plan the construction of the boat and another week and a half to actually build it,” said Trevor Dewey, one of the pre-engineering students. “We sealed it with a clear coat to try to slow the penetration of the water.”

Parents Chris and Lisa Geckler were at the race to support their son, Eric. “All we know is that he has been working really hard on this project,” said Lisa. “He is acting like it’s a top-secret mission. We are really happy to see him so enthusiastic about this project.”

First-year WLHS science teacher Liz Malone said, “I came to show my support to my students. I am really excited to see students get so involved with a project that involves science. I think this race is really neat and I love that it is so hands-on.”

The WLHS Student Council collected the admission of $1 per person, or at least one non-perishable food item for the Windsor Locks Food Pantry, which is always in need of donations.


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