How does this giant origami boat stay afloat?
Here’s some clever marine engineering that is also doing a great job of publicising a science fair for kids! The giant origami boat, seen recently being launched on Southwark Boating Lake, certainly grabbed our attention and we wondered how hard it would be for boat lovers to make their own…
The 3.6 metre long paper boat, designed by a group of engineers, was launched to promote The Big Bang Fair - a celebration of science and technology for young people which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 11-14 March.
It was created to show children how even the humble paper boat can be super-sized using engineering techniques. Its launch marked a countdown to the fair, and as part of the launch event .
This fetching paper boat even managed to carry a full grown human being. Award-winning mechanical engineer Morwenna Wilson - a descendant of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel - captained the boat and braved a potential capsize into the icy winter water of Southwark Boating Lake. Luckily the hull proved watertight and very stable so this did not happen.
So how easy was it to make this paper boat?
Incredibly 100 metres of paper were used to make it – that’s the length of a football pitch.
To stay afloat the boat itself was made using specialist paper which is stronger and more water-resistant than the ordinary floppy stuff you put in your printer.
The team of engineers had to make a few other alterations including the addition of a wooden keel (to ensure it was stable enough for someone to climb on), and a polystyrene block, into the supporting pyramid to strengthen the structure.
This 3.6 metre-long paper boat even managed to carry a full grown human being. Award-winning mechanical engineer Morwenna Wilson (who also happens to be a descendant of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel) captained the boat and braved a potential capsize into the icy winter water of Southwark Boating Lake. FYI this didn’t happen because the boat was ace.
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair will be taking place at NEC, Birmingham March 11-14 2015. If these pics have inspired you to craft your own origami boat you can take a look at this step-by-step guide and make your own!
Article written by Alison Clements
Photos: Copyright The Big Bang Fair