Lakewood School students race milk jug boats

lakewood-boats-2016-5Lakewood School eighth graders took to the waters of Lake Mary in Twin Lakes Friday afternoon to see who had the fastest boat — boats made of milk jugs, plywood and lots of tape, that is.

The milk jug boat race was the culmination of about two weeks work in which students applied concepts they have been learning in science all year, said Julie Apriesnig, Lakewood’s middle school science teacher.

“We’ve been studying forces in motion all year and engineering, so it fit right in,” Apriesnig said.

Apriesnig got the idea from a firemen’s picnic at her family’s summer cottage community of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. She noticed that a lot of kids entered the contest and thought — with water nearby in Twin Lakes — it would work at Lakewood.

The students’ enthusiasm for the project was evident before, during and even after the race.

For example, consider the well thought out explanation of Sean O’Dowd about why his team’s boat won. Sean explained that they narrowed the provided plywood platform (provided by Alexander Lumber) by a foot and used a two-headed paddle for one of the boat’s two paddlers to increase speed. O’Dowd’s teammates were: Summer Mackay, Maddy Szewczuk and Max Shoul.

The boats started at the shore of the Aquanuts performance area, went out as far as a jump ramp, went around the ramp and then back to shore. The boats arrived at the finish line at different times, but all finished and none sank during the race, though one team fell off their craft.

Students were so into their boats that after the race was over and the first second and third place awards handed out, the teams relaunched their craft and when back on the lake.

Apriesnig said she definitely plans to have the race again next year.

Here are some video highlights of the race:

Here are some more photos:


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First place team of (from left) Sean O’Dowd, Summer Mackay, Maddy Szewczuk and Max Shoul.

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