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Students use physics to create unique boats

Posted: October 16, 2013 - 11:38am
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Winner Ben Phifer, 17, holds the champion's trophy following the Cardboard Regatta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN
MICHAEL HOLAHAN
Winner Ben Phifer, 17, holds the champion's trophy following the Cardboard Regatta.

The annual Cardboard Regatta was literally a test for North Augusta High School’s AP physics students – float or sink.

“All I could think about was, ‘I don’t want to sink. Get to the other side. Just don’t sink,’” said Sara Allen, one of the students who participated in the annual competition.

Students created boats using cardboard and duct tape in preparation for the competition held Oct. 7 at Hammond Hill Suburban Pool. Students had to paddle their way from one side of the pool to the other and attempt to get the best time.

“It’s always so exciting to see what the students will come up with,” said Kathy Gambill, the AP physics teacher. “I think each year they are learning more from each other.”

Ben Phifer, 17, won the competition. It took him about two weeks to build his boat, named the SS Kassidy after his girlfriend, he said.

“I wanted to have a pointed shape so that it could go faster and I doubled up on the cardboard,” he said.

He enjoyed putting theory to the test, he added.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I enjoyed designing it though it was a lot harder than I thought it would be.”

The competition was the first time the boat was tested out and said that he may give it a try on the Savannah River or the Augusta Canal next.

Sara said that she was impressed by her fellow classmate’s creations and how no one’s boat was the same.

“I think they all did great,” she said. “They did a really good job.”

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