Cardboard boat

Ketchikan High School junior Allen Pattison paddles "Water Bessie," a boat he helped create in Todd Henke's engineering class, at the Gateway Aquatic Center on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Jodee Paule and Hannah Moody

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Students in Ketchikan High School teacher Todd Henke's introduction to engineering and design class spent the last day of class before spring break on the water.

Henke's class of roughly 15 students filtered into the Gateway Aquatic Center on Thursday morning carrying handmade cardboard boats — fortified with only a generous amount of duct tape — and handmade paddles to match.

Their assignment was to race their own boat against those of their classmates to see which vessel could hold up best in the water.

According to Henke, the students spent about a week designing their vessels.

"I don't know that anybody's actually going to finish," Henke addressed the class before they launched their boats into the pool. "Maybe you all will."

And while two of the boats were quickly ruined in the water, one was declared the winner.

"Water Bessie," designed by students Allen Pattison, Sven Kleinschmidt, John Moreland and Edwin Lopez, beat out the runner-up boat by one minute and five seconds.

The boat made it through two laps up and down the pool for the win, before three students climbed in and sunk the boat.

After assisting in the cleanup of his waterlogged boat, Pattison told the Daily News that his team's boat applied the principles of water dispersion and physics that he had learned about in Henke's class.