Rain Gutter Regatta!
by cmault123, published
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Rain gutter regatta! Keep your mind in the clouds and your boat in the gutter! Experiment with different boat hull types or invent your own to most efficiently glide through the water. Design a hull to see how efficient your hull can be towed in across the rain gutter. Race the clock or head to head with two gutters. (double the excitment and mess!)
Standard Default settings
For the track you’ll need to purchase a rain gutter, end caps for the gutter, string, two small pulleys, and a few fender washers to use as a weight. I used a metal paper clip as a tow hook to pull the boats. Assemble as shown in the photo.
(To attach the upper pulley I used a wire hanger bent into a hook and then hooked it to our drop ceiling grid. You may have to get creative with your surroundings.)
How I Designed This
I used solid works to design 3 different types of vessel hulls to compare and contrast how the make their way through the water. However students could easily design a hull in any 3d modeling software they are farmiliar with useing simple shapes and print their design.
Project: Rain Gutter Regatta!
Upon completing this project students will:
Have an understanding of fluid friction and turbulence
Be able to use a 3d modeling program and simple shapes to make a hull of their choice
Be able to explain why their boat performed the way it did, compare its performance to classmates, and explain one thing they could do to make it better.
This project is done at the middle school level with 6th,7th and 8th grade mixed classes. It could easily be modified to fit elementary level student though High school students.
For the track you’ll need to purchase a rain gutter, end caps for the gutter, string, two small pulleys, and a few fender washers to use as a weight. Assemble as shown in sketch. I use a metal paper clip as a tow hook to pull the boats. You can print out the three hull examples I designed for demo purposes.
Introduce the Project, show kids the rain gutter trough and explain how the weighted pulley system pulls each hull with the same amount of energy or force. Show the difference between the example hulls pointing out the waters turbulence in each case. Explain fluid friction and how it’s slowing the boat movement down. Then turn the kids loose on a 3d modeling program they have experience using. Or use this as opportunity to teach the program! Students can print designs after approval and race the clock and their classmates.
1 you could give them size restrictions examples are 1 ¼ X 3 X 6
2 inform students their boat needs a place that the tow hook can be attached
3 students could work in groups or alone
4 you could get two rain gutters (4 pulleys, two weights) for head to head races.
5 students boats could race with a payload
6 ditch the pulley/ weight power system and place a fan at one end of the gutter. The students would then have to harness the wind to move their boat along.
7 ditch the pulley/ weight power system and give the student a AA battery and a small motor. They would then have to design a boat and prop.
8 for younger students (learning to Hypothesis) you could have them hypothesize which of the example boats are going to be the fastest, carry the most weight etc.
Results: At the end of this project students will have reached all objectives. They will type a short paragraph to explain why their boat performed the way it did, compare its performance to classmates, and explain one thing they could do to make it better.
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Rain Gutter Regatta! by cmault123 is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.
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