Will it sink, or sail? Female students quickly discovered whether their boat design would stay afloat as they raced across the pool at the Torrance Aquatic Center during the third annual Cardboard Regatta. The competition brought together 175 students from seven Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) middle and high schools.

Their challenge? Build a boat from cardboard and duct tape. Female engineers and other professionals from Torrance Refining Company were on-hand to mentor the teams, who had just a few hours to design and build their watercraft. “The team that won the high school event used physics and math to figure things out. They sure were fast! I’m so glad my girls participated this year,” said one mother who watched the competition.

The Cardboard Regatta, sponsored by Torrance Refining Company, was launched by two TUSD teachers who wanted to stimulate interest in STEM-related fields, where females are underrepresented.

“We’re thrilled that this activity grows every year, with support from Torrance Refining Company. The students were fully engaged during the building process and had the opportunity to enhance their teamwork and problem-solving skills,” said Dr. George Mannon, TUSD Superintendent of Schools.