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Students float their best ideas

Sydni Burns and Sarah Case of Port Hardy Secondary School set off catamaran-style in their homemade cardboard crafts. - Photo by A O’Toole
Sydni Burns and Sarah Case of Port Hardy Secondary School set off catamaran-style in their homemade cardboard crafts.
— image credit: Photo by A O’Toole

Drafting students at Port Hardy Secondary School got their feet wet in the world of computer-aided design over the last few weeks as the students were tasked with creating a cardboard boat for their final class project.

Then they got the rest of themselves wet when they took their creations to the nearby Quatse River to test them out.

The students used the program Rhino to design their vessels before using cardboard and duct tape to bring the designs to life.

Luckily for most, the students’ grade on the project wasn’t dependent on the seaworthiness of their craft as the first intrepid captains, in traditional mariner fashion, quickly went down with their creations.

A few, however, were surprisingly successful, the makeshift dinghies ferrying their cargo the length of the 100-yard stretch of water despite the design restrictions forbidding waxed cardboard, layering the hull or excessive taping.

Teacher Kevin McGhee explained that the outing was just a fun way to round out the year’s lessons, though he betrayed his views on the students’ chances by making lifejackets mandatory before launch.

Once everyone had a chance to navigate the stretch, the successful few converged on the centre of the strait in a bid to oust the others from their craft and guarantee that no one boarded the bus back without getting wet.

Due to several considerations, the drafting class will not be offered in the upcoming school year, although it is hoped that the course can be offered on alternate years to allow all students the opportunity to participate.

Outgoing Principal Steven Gray said he considered drafting “an important class,” and one that he would like to see return.

If the would-be captains and their experience were any measure, the school will have no need to pressgang recruits when the popular course returns.

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