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Help with Project for School Children

School Challenge Day - Designing & Building boats

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Christopher Kay15/11/2011 10:37:24
4 forum posts
Hi Guys,
I found the forum through google whilst trying to search for some help regarding a project that my girlfriend is working on.
She is a Science teacher at a secondary school and in February next year, has been tasked with putting together a challenge day for all of the year 9 pupils to take part in.
The idea is that they will be split into groups of 5 (approx 150 kids) and be asked to design and create a very simple model boat.
The idea of the project is that it covers all of the following areas: science, technology, engineering & maths.
We've been going through it and came to the idea that she would ask them to make some model boats. She will provide all of the materials and in their groups, they will work together to create the most cost effective yet best possible performance boats that they will all test in the pond at the back of the school.
To kick things off, we visited a local hobby shop in Bolton and managed to purchase a very basic propulsion kit which included a motor, a prop shaft, tubing and a propeller for just under a fiver.
Since we have left, the guy in the shop has been less than helpful and cannot really seem to be bothered to help us anymore.
So, we are back to square one again. Could anybody suggest what would be the cheapest way to put together such a kit or know where there is something of this nature available to buy so that we can continue with our planning of this project?
It doesn't need to be anything fancy, the kids will be given the choice of some basic materials such as balsa wood, plastic bottles and polystyrene at different costs together with the power side of things and then be asked to create their boats with emphasis being placed upon cost effectiveness and practicality, i.e. which boat is the fastest, which boat can carry the most mass etc.
If anybody could help to point us into the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated!!
Oh, and cost is the kicker with this really!
Thanks Guys!!
Bob Abell15/11/2011 11:10:10
9337 forum posts
2985 photos
Hello Chris
Take a look at this similar request...
Christopher Kay15/11/2011 11:36:36
4 forum posts
Hi Bob,
I've taken a look at the thread that you suggested and that is quite helpful!
Thank you!
That is certainly one design that we didn't consider and we should definitely use this as one of the options.
We don't want like 15 different designs yet we need at least three or 4.
It would still be nice to find a simple propulsion kit (motor + propeller etc) or put one together as another option!
Thanks Bob!
ashley needham15/11/2011 11:51:50
7394 forum posts
159 photos
under boats and galleons. particularly "submarine power unit" or "outboard motor".
pre-packaged food containers (chops, ready made meals etc, take-away containers) can make good boat hulls.
The mississisisipppi paddler could be made very easily like bobs sketch.
A solid wood "sub" with an eye at either end underneath and a rubber band/ rubber band aircraft prop works ok
Christopher Kay15/11/2011 12:01:46
4 forum posts
Hi Ashley,
Thanks for your input!
These two 'power units' are by far the closest i've come to seeing suitable!!
I think they will definitely do the trick.
The only thing that i suspect my other half will say is that she would probably want the kids to put the circuit together themselves but this is most likely the best solution!
Thanks Ashley!
The Long Build15/11/2011 13:08:26
748 forum posts
281 photos
In conection with Ashleys post , I visited Warwick over the weekend and on one of the stands were simple boats made from fairey liquid bottles (Other makes are available !!) and other bits and bobs, I took a few pictures of these and will post them later this evening..
Larry R.
Christopher Kay15/11/2011 14:43:09
4 forum posts
That sounds good too Larry!
Thanks for your help!
It's nice to come on here and see so many people interested to help out others!
Thanks guys!
The Long Build15/11/2011 19:10:51
748 forum posts
281 photos
As promised..
But First..
Depending on the skill level you want to take this to so I have included a few pictures, some from the Warwick show and my first project from back in the 80's "Bobby" Funny enough a free plan at the time in 1977 from Model Boats magazine..
The Compleated Model of "Bobby" or as here "Whicky Woo" was not made by me but was an article on this site , but just shows what a finished Very Easy to build model can look like.
Also as a point of further development perhaps getting the book "Small Radio Control Boats" by Glynn Guest Isbn 1-85486-171-9 still available from Amazon and Ebay , not sure if Nexus still have them. Some silly prices there but also some reasonable ones..The Book Contains 9 easy build boats from card , Balso or ply , just depends what you want to use.
Felix de Cat25/11/2011 20:48:14
5 forum posts
I am a DT teacher in a secondary school and have done this type of thing before. The most fun and learning came from building solar powered boats to race across a 10 m tank. There are lots of opportunities for science and engineering. A great solution can be built using very basic parts and few tools but the learning and competition make it very worthwhile.
Chech out the schools marine challange onb google for mor info.
Former Member10/09/2021 15:27:07

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