All Aboard? Paul Cuffee 5th Graders Wow Expert Boat Judges

(Left to right) Boat judges David Burnham and Alan Burnett listen intently as 5th grader Laura Betances explains how her team’s boat was designed for stability.

Immersed in Paul Cuffee School’s maritime curriculum, teams of 5th graders designed and built cardboard boats for their Boat Design Exhibition. Since January, they have carried out experiments and researched concepts related to buoyancy, stability and speed. A multi-disciplinary unit, the Boat Design curriculum incorporates math skills with the students measuring volume, surface area, rate of speed. They study Archimedes theory of displacement and the history of classic boats and their place in the Rhode Island landscape.

In early April, the unit culminated with the 5th grade Boat Design Exhibition. Thirty expert sailors and boating enthusiasts visited the Boat Fair, dispersing themselves among the teams of boat designers who explained the nautical concepts as well as their work as a team to design, name and navigate their boats.



Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%