Fun with Speedboats

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In this activity, learners explore how boats are engineered to achieve speed. Learners consider and develop a design, build their speedboat out of everyday items, and test their boat against those developed by other "engineering" teams. Learners reflect on the challenge and present their findings to the group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • Water
  • Towels
  • Canal (long waterproof container such as a planter or gutter section with end pieces attached)
  • Stopwatch or other speed measuring device
  • Rubber bands
  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard
  • Fasteners
  • Blocks or sheets of Styrofoam
  • Duct tape
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper
  • Foil
  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Straws
  • Gears
  • Paper cups
  • Wax
  • Balloons
  • String
  • Springs
  • Cork
  • Motors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Sports and Exercise
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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