WARREN - Lincoln K-8 sixth to eighth grade students were trying to stay afloat as they not only paddled their way to the finish line in cardboard and duct taped boats but helped raise money for the Warren Relay For Life.
The inaugural Relay for Life Raider Regatta fundraising event was held recently at the Warren G. Harding Natatorium raising $1,060 with the money going to the Warren City Schools Relay For Life team.
Kelly Jadue, teacher at Lincoln K-8 and event coordinator, said 87 students competed in 15 cardboard boat race teams with more than 200 people attending. She said they plan to make the regatta a yearly event.
''This was a philanthropic event that helped raise money for Relay For Life and raise cancer awareness. We teach service before thyself to the students. That's our message,'' she said.
Jadue said the Raider Regatta give students the opportunity to design, build, and race their best boats.
Students worked on their boats for a month, devising a theme and team name.
''We are trying to teach them real-world applications to see where engineering and math are used using science methods and mathematical formulas,'' Jadue said.
Jadue said the students raced in pairs and in quads with teams being eliminated before they reached they quads.
''Most did not make it to the quad, but it was fabulous the kids sponsored their own boats. We also had corporate sponsors, '' Jadue said.
''This event allows students to apply the law of physics, Archimedes' principle and stem concepts in a real-world situation,'' she said.
Brandi Gazso, a first-grade teacher who served as a judge / time keeper, said, ''It was awesome to see how excited the kids were.
''Whether they sank the minute they went in or made it to the end of the pool, the kids had a lot of fun. Five teams did make it to the end of the pool,'' Gazso said.
Bella VanKirk, an eighth-grader, said she helped put the boats together using cardboard and duct tape and also worked on the engineering of the boat.
''My team came in second. It was interesting to see which teams made it and which didn't. You learned what parts of the boats worked and which didn't,'' she said.
Kyla Bossard, also an eighth-grader, said her team came in first in the quad race.
''It was really fun to work as a team and get to dress up for the different themes,'' she said.
The American Cancer Society's Relay For Life is being held throughout the Mahoning Valley this spring. The next event is May 10-11 at Courthouse Square Park in Warren.