First cardboard boat building through OYAP

December 17 2014



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Team from Holland Chatsworth Central School

Teams of grades 7 and 8 students from 10 schools throughout Bruce and Grey Counties put their boat building skills to the ultimate test on Friday, December 12, 2014 at Centennial Pool in Port Elgin.

Coordinated by the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), the first ever Elementary Cardboard Boat Race provided 40 students from Bluewater and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Boards with an opportunity to ‘get their feet wet’ in the skilled trades through some hands-on learning in construction, design and engineering.


Students & their boats (L) Holland Chatsworth Central & (R) Amabel-Sauble Community School

Each team of four students, whose make-up was determined by the appropriate school, was responsible for designing and constructing a cardboard boat for participation in speed and weight challenges.

Teams were also judged for planning and design, quality of construction, visual appeal, teamwork and team spirit, essential skills knowledge as well as safety and cleanliness. Students were provided with materials such as corrugated cardboard, duct tape, safety glasses and cutting devices before heading to a gymnasium for two hours of building time prior to the race event. Even though each team coach was close by, the students were left to their own devices during the design and build process.

When the time came to enter the pool area, the teams proudly carried their watercraft to the edge of the water and donned life jackets in anticipation of what was bound to be a thrilling test of balance and buoyancy.


(L)Port Elgin Saugeen Central students & Arran-Tara Elementary School with a disintegrating boat

As could be expected, a few of the cardboard creations capsized sending their occupants overboard, while others made it to the opposite end of the pool intact. Regardless, finding a dry student at poolside by the end of the race was next to impossible!

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According to Bluewater District School Board Technological Studies Safety Curriculum Teacher Tim Wise, the Elementary Cardboard Boat Race allowed students a chance to work as a team while practicing a variety of skills to help them evaluate their areas of strength. Engaging students in a skilled trades related project can be beneficial in guiding pathway choices.

 The overall first place team was Amabel-Sauble Community School, which won over Port Elgin Saugeen Central in a tiebreaker. An honourable mention goes out to Paisley Central School while all participants are commended for a great effort!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014