Riverdale Physics Class Holds Annual Boat Race

By Molly Seales

Each year, it is end-of-year-tradition for Dr. Hunter Brown’s physics class to compete in a cardboard boat race. Since I will be taking physics next year, I asked Dr. Brown to tell me what the objective of the project is and what he hopes students will accomplish by doing this project. Dr. Brown said, “Building and launching cardboard boats is a STEM project that is the culmination of everything students have learned in physics and past years in science. Some of these things are Newton’s Laws of Motion, momentum, center of gravity, buoyancy, density, fluid friction, pressure, and water displacement. Students also learn group dynamics and how to communicate their ideas and produce them. It’s packaged in the guise of ‘fun.’” Each year, Dr. Brown changes the materials up a little. This year they included cardboard, duct tape, plastic liners, sealants, and PVC for framework, not flotation.

This year the students did their boat launch the last week of school at the home of Mrs. Mary Almond, grandmother of senior Jake Messenger. “Mae Mae” as she is affectionately known to her grandchildren and many RA students also served the class lunch. There were a few casualties with boats this year, and one didn’t make it off the dock. When the friendly competition was over, Tyler Hodgin, Kaden Nettles, and Levi Shaver were crowned as the champions and got their names on Dr. Brown’s Boat Race Hall of Fame plaque.

The senior class would like to thank Dr. Brown for all of his hard work and dedication for them over the past four years. He is truly a teacher who has a passion for teaching and his students.


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