• Cardboard Canoe Project
    Students are tasked with designing, building and racing a canoe made entirely from cardboard and duct tape.  The canoe must hold 2 people and be no more than 12 feet long, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide.
    In order to do this, they must first create mathematical functions that define the shape of the canoe in three dimensions.  Students use paper, pencil, and computers to determine their equations.

    Students create functions

    Next, they draw out the functions full size on butcher paper.  These will serve as templates for construction.

    Template drawing

    The drawings are then used as patterns for cutting the shapes out of cardboard.

    Keel sections

    As in traditional wooden boat building, the construction depends on a strong keel which acts as the spine/backbone of the boat.  Many layers of cardboard are taped together to create a strong keel.

    keel wrapping

    The keel is wrapped in duct tape to increase strength.  While the keel is being constructed, ribs are drawn, and constructed.  

    Rib construction


    Completed ribs

    These attach to the keel and act just like ribs on a human body, creating the outside shape of the boat. 

    Rib attachment


    Completed skeleton


    End view of skeleton

    Once the skeleton is complete, strips of cardboard are taped to it like roof shingles for strength and leak prevention.

    Hull strips


    Hull strips

    Once all the hull strips are in place.  The entire outer and inner surface of the canoe is coated in duct tape.

    Coated with tape

    The boats will be racing in the Hamilton pool when they are completed.

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