Eighth grade students at NorthSchool put their ship-making skills to the test in a paddle boat challenge at the campus last Friday.

Science teacher Maralee Thorburn incorporated STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — skills as students designed and built rubber-band powered paddle boats to travel a six-foot long course.

The boat project included topics of stored and kinetic energy, engineering while working under a set of specific criteria and constraints for the boat construction.

About a dozen students spent two weeks building their boats at home using household items and scheduled times with Thorburn to come down one at a time to try running their boats on the water.

Each boat was given one test run and then had two tries navigating the water and were scored on how far and how fast it traveled.

A laptop with a camera allowed the rest of the class at distance learning to watch each boat run on their computers.

The student with the winning boat would receive a pizza.

Thorburn said this was the first time for a paddle boat challenge and said next semester they would have a rocket project.

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