W5's Ingenious Cardboard Regatta was a maritime challenge that aimed to inspire the interest of young people in STEM.
Throughout the programme, engineers from the Belfast Maritime Consortium, along with W5's Learning and Engagement team, promoted marine engineering through school workshops. This programme concluded with a regatta race of cardboard boats powered by the students.
As part of the Ingenious Cardboard Regatta programme, students from six participating schools took part in theory and practical workshops throughout the 2022/23 academic year. Throughout these workshops, the teams explored the fundamental concepts of engineering which they applied to their cardboard boat.
On Friday 23 June 2023, six teams and their paired industry experts, travelled to Queen's Boat Club in Belfast for the main event in the Ingenious Cardboard Regatta programme.
After months of theory and practical workshops, building their cardboard boat and displaying their engineering expertise at the Showcase event, the teams were ready to put their vessels to the test and race their peers in the main event.
Six cardboard trophies were up for grabs along with two Judges’ Merit Awards, which saw the winning teams awarded Water Resource Boxes provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering Belfast Hub.
Three Regatta races took place throughout the morning. These races saw the two teams go head-to-head, battling it out be the first across the River Lagan. Each school was timed by W5's Learning and Engagement team and Fort Hill Integrated College, Lisburn came out on top, taking home the Regatta Challenge trophy.
At the conclusion of the main event, all boats were back in the water for the Pirate Raid, with the six teams competing at once to be the first across the River Lagan. However, this time the teammates that were cheering on from the sidelines were armed with water pistols, aimed at their competition. It was St. Dominic's Grammar School, Belfast that came out on top and took home the Pirate Raid trophy.
Also in attendance at the event was Lagan Search and Rescue, who provided a safety boat for the final event; Saint John’s Ambulance who were on hand to administer first aid if needed; and Survitek, who fitted lifejackets and provided paddles for the final event.
Thank you to all the teams that took part in the Ingenious Cardboard Regatta. Check out the winners below:
Best in Showcase: St. Dominic's Grammar School, Belfast
Best Theme: Fort Hill Integrated College, Lisburn
Most Sustainable: All Saints College, Belfast
Best Construction: Mercy College, Belfast
Pirate Raid: St. Dominic's Grammar School, Belfast
Regatta Challenge: Fort Hill Integrated College, Lisburn
Judges' Merit Prize: Dundonald High School & Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Belfast
Throughout the duration of the Ingenious Cardboard Regatta programme, many companies offered their resources and assistance. Please see contributing companies below