The Big Bang Fair, which promotes careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects to young people, has designed and crafted an impressively large origami boat and set sail on Southwark Boating Lake.
It was created to show children how even the humble paper boat can be super-sized using engineering techniques and marks a 50-day countdown to the fair. A whopping 100 metres of paper were used to make it – that’s the length of a football pitch.
Wondering how it stayed afloat? Well, the engineers are pros, of course! But the boat itself was also made using specialist paper which is stronger and more water-resistant than the ordinary floppy stuff you put in your printer. Because the boat was rather huge, 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!