AY Honor Toy Boat Regatta - Advanced Answer Key

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Skill Level






Approval Authority

North American Division

Toy Boat Regatta - Advanced AY Honor.png
Toy Boat Regatta - Advanced
Arts, Crafts and Hobbies
Skill Level
Approval Authority
North American Division
Year of Introduction


See also

Artisan Master Award


Have the Toy Boat Regatta honor.

For tips and instruction see Toy Boat Regatta.


Draw a schematic of a pop pop boat (sometimes known as putt-putt boat) showing pertinent features and how they function. Show options of a looped tubing engine (copper coil engine) and a diaphragm engine.

A boat will float if the weight of the boat and all of its cargo is less than the weight of water that it displaces (62.4 lbs/cf)


Describe what happens to liquid water when it turns to steam and demonstrate this phenomenon using any experiment of your choosing.

Water expands over a thousand times when it becomes steam. One may place a zip-lock baggie in a microwave with a teaspoon of water and see the vapor expand the baggie.


Describe what happens when water steam cools and demonstrate this phenomenon using any experiment of your choosing.

Water condenses and creates a vacuum. One may place a paper juice carton with a screw on lid. While carton is open, insert a small amount of water in a microwave, heat until the water boils for a minute, then immediately close the carton to see the carton crush from the internal vacuum pressure.


Describe how a pop pop boat engine utilizes Newton’s first law of motion.

Using Newton's first law of motion, once water starts moving in the straws, it will continue moving in that direction.


Make at least one pop pop engine boat utilizing recycled materials powered by one tea-candle for a heat source.

YouTube, Pinterest, and general searches on an internet web search will provide many videos and step-by-step instructions showing a multitude of designs. You can start your search with the website of Sciente ToyMaker.


Modify the pop-pop boat in the previous requirement or make multiple pop pop boats to determine how changes to capacity of reservoir and/or diameter of tubes affect the boat’s operation. Hypothesize the outcomes before experimenting on the modified boat(s), evaluate the performances, and document the results.

Have the Pathfinders write down their scientific method process:

  • Ask a question. Ex. What happens if X is modified?
  • Construct a hypothesis. Ex. Changing X makes the boat go faster. Or changing X will require a longer time to get the engine going? Etc.
  • Test with an experiment. Ex. Record multiple times for before and after alteration.
  • Compare data with hypothesis.
  • Draw a conclusion.
  • With new knowledge confirmed, ask new questions and repeat procedures with additional modifications. Ex. Since modifying X made the boat go faster, will X+Y modifications increase the speed?


Participate in an organized pop pop boat race using a pop-pop boat you have made to complete this honor.

Two or more "tracks" may be made with 6-inch house aluminum guttering, sealing the ends, and filling with water. Devices to restrict forward travel for all lanes are used to allow all boats sufficient time to light candles and start propulsion. Restriction devices are lifted for all lanes at the same time and the winner of the heat is determined once it has reached a defined distance. Winners from each heat are then paired together until a final winner is determined.


Use the Biblical dimensions of Noah’s Ark, independently theorize how much the animals and other cargo could have weighed. Remember to consider the weight of the wood used in ship building. If possible, compare your assumptions and answers with others working on this honor. Based on that available weight for cargo, how many animals could have fit on the Ark using your assumptions?

There is no correct answer, only a correct effort. The student should go through the exercise of calculations based on research and best guesses. Below is an outline for instructors to guide the students:

  • Student should independently search for dimensions and descriptions found in Genesis 6 & 7.
  • Student should then independently search resources to make conversions from cubits to feet (meters) and then calculate displaced water at 62.4 lbs/cf (998 kg/m3).
  • Student should then independently theorize the number of levels, number of rooms, etc. and associated lumber to build the ship, walls, floors, and animal crates. What dimensional lumber is needed for each component and how much of each board type would be needed?
  • Instructor should discuss concept of "board-feet" (12” x 12” x 1”) and convert the lumber needed to construct the Ark as assumed above to "board-feet."
  • Students should then independently search for references on density of wood. Note that the meaning of the Hebrew word for this wood is uncertain, but many assume it is a type of Cyprus wood. There are many online charts for density of woods. One example may be found at the Engineering Toolbox website.
  • Subtract the weight of the wood in (e) from the displaced weight of water in (b).
  • Have students compare results and discuss the different assumptions that caused different answers.
  • To consider the animals that could have been on the ark, start with assumptions on a weight of a cow, and how many cattle could have fit? Could all of the animals at the local zoo have fit on the ark using their assumptions? If not, revisit the assumptions.
  • If possible, a field trip to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky is highly encouraged. If not possible, a related website, How Could All ANimals Fit? has a lot of information related to this question.