AOL students buoyed by buoyant cardboard boats


AOL seniors Kayla Bourgeois and Erica Rossi (above) wait to put their boat in the water to test if it would stay afloat or sink. Duct tape was a critical element.

Approximately 35 students in physics and physics honors at the Academy of Our Lady in Marrero demonstrated their understanding of buoyancy, fluid dynamics and engineering by building lightweight cardboard boats and racing across a pool against classmates at Archbishop Shaw, next door, to see if their boats could sustain weight without sinking.

Look, Mom, we didn’t sink! Academy of Our Lady junior Michaela Thaibinh and senior Divya Patel race across the pool and come away dry.

Seventy-five percent of the boats successfully navigated the pool. Students completed lab experiments testing Archimedes’ Principle and modeled designs on a small scale. They also conducted research and wrote a paper about fluid dynamics and buoyancy.

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