Principles of Technology

Project: The Boat



It is your task to design and construct a boat which will float and be capable of carrying some amount of payload. You may use any materials you wish, as long as they are appropriate and fall within normal safety parameters.


Rules and Regulations for the Competition

1. Your boat will be weighed when empty.

2. After weigh-in, your boat will be placed in the water, where it will (hopefully) float. In the (unlikely) event that your boat fails to float, you will lose your Captain's privileges and mooring permit for the remainder of the term.

3. After demonstrating that your boat can indeed support its own weight, the carefully picked and totally impartial judge will begin adding mass (payload) to your craft. The judge will continue to add mass until your craft sinks beneath the waves.

4. It is each captain's responsibility to retrieve his or her craft from the depths of the water before the next boat is tested. Paper towels will be provided.

5. Any tasteless attempt to bribe the judge will be met with the most severe of penalties (appropriate bribes include cinnamon rolls and/or glazed donuts).

6. Your final results need to be expressed as a ratio of the weight of the boat when empty to the weight of the boat with total payload at the time of sinking.

7. Each student is required to turn in their own boat - no group efforts.

8. Any jeering, intentional disruption, cannon fire, or the generation of artificial tsunamis will not be tolerated by the judge. Any rival Captain who is caught in the attempt will be penalized as described in #2 (above), along with the added possibility of losing all points for this project.

9. Refer to the Boat Project Cover Sheet for a detailed summary of how you will be graded for this project.



The Boat Project Cover Sheet

This is how your boat will be graded (50 points total)

Be sure to staple this sheet to the front of your write-up before you turn it in.


Design plan and Journal : 10 points

A detailed plan for your boat, with appropriate dimensions

A journal detailing the time spent on your project

A list of materials needed for construction

Step by step process for the construction of your boat

Construction : 10 points

Does your boat look like your plans?

Does your boat look like it was thrown together or thought through?

Operation : 5 points

Does your boat float?

Will it support any additional weight (payload)?

Calculations : 10 points

Total mass of your boat (empty) _______________ grams

Total mass of payload held before boat sinks ________________ grams

Ratio of Payload : Boat ( mP / mB )

Final Project Write-up : 15 points

What ratio did your boat have? How does this relate to the quality of your boat?

What did you like about your design? Why?

What didn't you like about your design? Why?

What would you do differently next time so your boat would hold more payload?

What did you learn from this project?


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