The Panamax Challenge

This module is an alternative version of The Great Boat Float Challenge, which may be more satisfying for older students — third grade and up — than simply building a boat to hold as much weight as possible. Students consider the real-world problem that marine engineers and naval architects face when designing ships to pass through the Panama Canal. “Panamax” refers to the maximum allowable dimensions for those ships. This is a good activity for teams of two students.