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Students challenged to think outside the box

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Staying afloat: Berkeley Institute students Chanara Smith-Rookes and Cory Burgess at last year's Cardboard Boat Challenge (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Students have been challenged to build boats that can carry two team members the length of a 50-metre swimming pool using only cardboard and duct tape.

The public are invited to watch them sink or float during the second Cardboard Boat Challenge, hosted by the Institute of Bermuda Architects and the Bermuda Association of Professional Engineers.

“The challenge is a hands-on way for students to learn about architecture, design and engineering,” IBA president Krystal Rodrigues stated.

“With BAPE, we want to get kids interested in design and engineering as potential career paths as well as providing a way for them to have fun.

“Last year, the Cardboard Boat was an exciting and educational event for high school students and an entertaining spectacle for all those who attended.

“We look forward to watching this year’s participants sink or float in their creations.”

Stephanie Simons, BAPE committee secretary and co-organiser, added: “The Cardboard Boat Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to get a taste of what it’s like to be an engineer or architect. We are pleased to work with IBA to put on this event for the second year running and we look forward to watching the race.”

This year’s event will be held at the National Aquatics Centre on November 17. Students in years 9 to 12 have been invited to take part, and spectators to cheer them on.

Over a two-hour period, teams of up to five students will build boats that can carry two team members the 50-metre length of the pool as fast as possible — without falling into the water.

Boat building will start at 1.15pm, races at 3.30pm and the awards ceremony at 4.30pm. All materials and equipment will be provided.

This year, the cardboard material for the boats will be reused, locally sourced boxes, which have been donated by the Bermuda Bread Company.

Students are encouraged to plan and build prototypes before the big day and to bring clothes they don’t mind getting wet.

Interested students should contact their design or science teachers who will be able to provide entry forms and provide more details.

The deadline for team applications is November 14, after which any extra spaces will be offered up on a limited basis.

Battling for the win: Saltus Grammar School students Amy Palmer (front) and Meghan Soares at last year's Cardboard Boat Challenge (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)