Eighth grade students at Baker Demonstration School put months of research and design work to the test on Friday hitting the pool for the school’s annual cardboard boat races.

Taking what they learned about buoyancy, density and the physics of water with science teacher Natasha Itkin, students worked in teams of three or four to design and build boats made of cardboard and duct tape that could carry two paddlers down the length of Baker’s indoor pool and back again.

The calculations didn’t prove perfect for all 11 teams, but the afternoon featured plenty of highlights for the eighth-graders and the classmates, parents, faculty and staff who packed the pool deck and viewing area to cheer them on.

Superboat, built and captained by Nicholas Adams-Agresti of Evanston, Peter Kurschner of Wilmette and Ryan Schreder of Wilmette, placed first with a time of 43 seconds.

They were followed closely by Space Monkey Mafia (Gavin Bruggeman of Evanston, Tyler Doornweerd of Winnetka, Owen Hanson of Chicago and Davis Kurschner of Wilmette) and Rainbowt (Lisa Grimsted of Evanston, Caroline Roche of Evanston and Madeleine Ross of Evanston).

Ballots are still being counted for five additional awards: best-looking boat, most creative design, most creative outfits, most enthusiasm, and most spectacular sinking.

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