Hempfield Rec Center played host to our Hempfield High School physics students on Friday May 20. Students who gathered to compete for the The Benner (Cardboard) Cup at this year’s annual cardboard boat race. The project is both a tradition and a physics class requirement. Students must build boats to hold the weight of two teammates and withstand the water for a grade – and a good laugh.
Time and effort were common themes among the competing students, ranging from six to sixty hours to collect all the cardboard, draw up blueprints, and build boats. Students take pride in sharing how much duct tape and wax went into supporting their creations. The boat can’t be more than 10 feet long and 10 feet wide. It has to be made out of cardboard with 3/16-inch thickness.
The assignment is based on competitive grading, which means that the further students get in the competition the better grade they will receive, but drawings and construction are also taken into consideration. After preliminary heats, the fastest times move into the semifinal bracket. Then the three fastest semi final winners race for possession of the cherished Cardboard Cup.