Matthew Pitcher
5 years ago
Last Updated
7 months ago
Shiver me timbers fellow teachers! This project wraps math, history, environmental studies, English, and science into a perfect brainstorming solar boat making experience.

The culminating project results in students optimally identifying recyclable materials that will make a floating object and simultaneously harnessing the sun's energy as a means to launch their boat forward.

By the end of this project, students will be able to:
1) Calculate the surface area and volume of an object.
2) Describe Archimedes principle and the concepts of buoyancy and apply them to designing an object that floats.
3) Compare and contrast the evolution of boat designs and evaluate the ability of different materials in enhancing the capacity of an object to float.

Mathematical application is used in determining surface and volume characteristics.
History examines the evolution of boats and compares designs with the ability to float objects.
Scientific principles are applied to recycling materials and employing principles in boat designs.
Emphasis is placed on the end results of how landfills function and the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Relevant careers include Green Energy Specialist, Engineering careers, and Marine Architects.

In addition to the CTE/STEM focus of the unit/project lessons, educators will find academic lessons in Math, Science, History, and English that supplement the primary core area of study.

This unit is brought to you by Carmen Wright (CTE), Leslie Wasley (Mathematics and Science), and Matthew Pitcher (History and English) with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by the Course Team Lead Sheri Coburn.


Industries / Pathways
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities Energy, Environment, and Utilities
K-12 Subjects
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History/Social Science
Grade Levels
  • 7
  • 8

Here Comes the Photons: What's Solar Power? (CTE)

What's Recyclable? (CTE)

Rock, Paper, Plastic: Designing a Boat (Solar) that Floats: Part I (CTE)

Ships Ahoy! Designing a Boat (Solar) that Floats: Part II (CTE)

Whatever Floats Your Boat (Science)

Shaping Up! (Math)

It Speaks Volumes (Math)

What To Do With All That Trash? The Science of Landfills (Science)

Fire from the Heavens (History / Social Science)

Land Ho! The Evolution of Boats (History / Social Science)

Ahoy Matey: Creating a Webquest on the Impact of Boats on Society (History / Social Science)

Sailing - From a Poet's Perspective (History / Social Science)