The STEM Hub Canterbury Christ Church University STEM Learning
The STEM Hub


Water-Fuelled Boat Racing

On This Day

RMS Queen Mary made her 1000th and final Atlantic crossing to New York in 1967.


Water-Fuelled Boat Racing

You will Need:

  • Paper (card works best!)
  • Scissors
  • Washing-up liquid or liquid soap
  • A toothpick or cotton bud
  • A shallow tray to hold water, such
  • as a lunchbox lid
  • Water
  • A stopwatch (you could use a phone)

What to Do:

  1. Our boat is going to be made from paper! What do we know about this material? Predict how you think this will work. Sketch and cut the lines on each end of the card, like Ernesto shows in the video.
  2. Fill a shallow container with water.
  3. Have your stopwatch ready!
  4. Dip a toothpick in your liquid soap.
  5. Place your boat on the surface of the water and dip your toothpick in the water and watch your boat move! Could you leave your boat to sit for very long? What about absorbency?
  6. Maybe have a race, change the shape of your boat to try and improve it, decorate your boat…create your own investigation! Think about the material your boat is made from…could you choose a material that would be more suitable for water, but perform as well as the card?

We would love to see how your boat performs! Send us a photo or video to or tag us on Twitter @STEMHUB_SE

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