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Educational, entertaining Boat Regatta event results in success

From+left+to+right%3A+Raina+Dano+%28senior%29%2C+Ripley+Crosley+%28junior%29%2C+and+Carmen+Ferrante+%28senior%29.++Group+wins+first+place+at+2017+Boat+Regatta.
From left to right: Raina Dano (senior), Ripley Crosley (junior), and Carmen Ferrante (senior).  Group wins first place at 2017 Boat Regatta.

From left to right: Raina Dano (senior), Ripley Crosley (junior), and Carmen Ferrante (senior). Group wins first place at 2017 Boat Regatta.

Photo by: Gianna Ferrante

Photo by: Gianna Ferrante

From left to right: Raina Dano (senior), Ripley Crosley (junior), and Carmen Ferrante (senior). Group wins first place at 2017 Boat Regatta.

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The 2017 Mayfield High School annual Boat Regatta captured an anxious crowd, many competitive boats, and many motivated participant.

The physics class has recently been studying fluid dynamics and fluid mechanics. “That’s how the boat regatta ties into what we are currently learning,” physics teacher Robert Friel said.

Timeliness of the unit easily intrigues students to go above and beyond, “It’s a great unit to get the students to construct something, and see the unit in action,” Friel said. “The kids get easily enthusiastic about this unit.”

Friel is the event coordinator and enjoys hosting this event every year. He said, “My inspiration for starting it [the annual competition] was because this was my first time teaching at a school with a pool, so I thought we could try it and ever since, it’s been very successful each year.”

The other physics teacher, Corey Rice, plays a big role when executing the annual event. “As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Rice does all the work when it comes to the actual competition. I really only help the kids bring their boats in the water, but he regulates all the lanes, which there were three lanes, one boat for each lane per heat, and one timer per lane,” Friel said. “I really just stand there and cheer them on.”

“As a whole, the event is a lot of fun,” said Rice, who also enjoys organizing the event.  And seeing the outcome each year.

Eligible participating students are notified about the project a month in advance, “Although most kids don’t start working on the boat until about a week before the competition because it takes up so much space in your house,” Friel says.

Eligible participation requires being in a physics class, either regular or AP. “We recently started accepting AP physics students, to get more boats and more competition,” Friel said.

Students are free to use their imagination when creating their boats, however, there are some guidelines they need to follow. “They are only allowed to use corrugated cardboard,” Friel said. “That means it can’t have any waterproof coating, it’s not glossy. Also, they can only duct tape the joints of the boat, so they can’t coat the whole boat in tape.”

Senior Carmen Ferrante was a part of the winning team.  She said, “I’ve heard about the boat regatta before and my sister did it last year.  It looked so fun and I couldn’t wait to get to participate.”

Another member from the winning group, Raina Dano said. “I’m glad Mayfield has this kind of activity. It was a lot of fun, especially winning my last year with some really good friends.”

After introducing the project to his classes, Friel lets the rest of it unfold, “The kids obviously have the hardest job, building the boat, finding a place for it until the competition,” Friel said, “Also, one of the hardest things to do is find all of the cardboard for the boat.”

Although there was no new record time, the first place group of senior Carmen Ferrante, senior Raina Dano, and junior Ripley Crosley, paddled to a time of 53 seconds. The 8-year old record of 35 seconds is still to be broken, and it continues to motivate the students to persevere to make Mayfield High School history.

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Educational, entertaining Boat Regatta event results in success