Middle School



Grade 8 Boat Races

Last summer, Mr. Muir saw a friend holding a boat race challenge on their lake for a summer activity. The challenge was to build a boat entirely out of cardboard and duct tape. Mr. Muir thought this would be a great activity to start off the year for the eighth graders to work on their teamwork, collaboration, and to build community within the eighth grade.  From there, he got all the other Grade 8 advisory teachers on board, ordered the materials and went to work. Each advisory team had seven 25-minute sessions over 4 weeks to design, construct, and put together a boat that would hopefully float and make it all the way across the Ambassy Club pool. 

Teams were also challenged with coming up with team chants and making signs to cheer on their classmates. On the day of the race, the students all gathered and had a parade over to the Ambassy Club pool, where the boats were placed in the pool. On the mark, the boats took off.  It was an exciting race where almost all of the boats made it to the finish line. Mrs. Raatz’s team was crowned victors, when they were the first ones to make it to the finish line. Coming in a close second was Mr. Halula’s team, and in third was Mr. Muir’s team. All of the students and teachers had a great time at the event. 

Doctor Tina and Mr. Alfano also decided to get in on the action by making a teacher boat. Their boat was not quite as successful, but they had a great time joining in the competition. 

The teams learned a lot through their teamwork, some from their successes and some through their failures. After they return from the holiday break, the teams will get together to reflect on the success or failure of their boat. Hopefully from this activity day, the students will learn a lot about how to work together, how to put together a plan, and come up with a successful boat. 

We are looking forward to hopefully building on this activity and incorporating seventh grade next year and making it a seventh grade and eighth grade advisory activity.