The temperature was near 70, and the sun was out in full force against a blue sky.
Sounds like a good day for boat races, and that's exactly what the students in Mr. Doherty's Honors Engineering I class did during period 6 on Monday afternoon at Xavier High School.
This was the culmination of a hands-on project done in groups.
The boats were about 8 inches in length and had to travel down a 10-foot gutter filled with water in 15 seconds or less. Some of the rules were using two Double A batteries, designing the hull and propeller and wiring a DC motor to it. From there, make sure it floats and goes as fast as possible.
"The intent is to learn about marine engineering, electricity and wiring, and working together as a team on a fun project," Mr. Doherty said. "To see an idea to its conclusion and work with all the factors that might mess them up, unforeseen factors. A lot of people changed their boats three or four times."
There was a sense of humor to it, too, as the signs on the table that held the gutters suggested: "Authorized Personnel Only" read one. "Danger. Restricted Area" read another.
In the end it was yet another example of engineering an interesting way of learning. And the students had a boatload of fun.