My 4th grade son is working on a homemade boat project this weekend, as he’ll be racing his model tomorrow at school in recognition of Columbus Day and Christopher Columbus. The specifications require the boat be made of homemade materials, include no motors, and have a width no greater than 2 1/2 inches. Students must be able to blow their boat to race it, like Cub Scouts do in their Raingutter regatta events. As Alexander searched on the web with his Mom today (on Google) for ideas and help, they stumbled upon an excellent YouTube tutorial, “How to Make an Origami Boat.” I’ll be interested to hear if he’s the only student to show up tomorrow with that boat model. He’s very handy with Origami already, having been tutored in the art by one of our Lubbock friends last year.

An origami paper boat

To improve buoyancy, Alexander made another version with aluminum foil, and is making several copies in case one has trouble in tomorrow’s race.

An origami boat of foil!

I’m not sure if this is because of the impending holiday, but in inspecting the history page of the Christopher Columbus WikiPedia article today I was surprised to see the following entry for October 2nd:

Changed protection level for “Christopher Columbus”: vandalism – expanding protection because of much vandalism (expires 00:22, 23 October 2007 (UTC))

How cool that we have access to YouTube from home (it’s not blocked like it is at school) so Alexander could readily learn a new Origami design! There are more than 3,500 videos on YouTube currently which turn up on a basic keyword search for “Origami.” If you want to learn how to make the model Alexander is using for tomorrow’s race, here’s the almost 9 minute, free video!


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On this day..

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