E-book, Lesson Plan


In this project, students use their knowledge of physics concepts and Newton’s Laws to design a sail and keel for a racing sailboat. The design culminates in a digital model or poster that shows how the sailboat will be fast, but stable, the two constraints in race boat design. The project may end with a competition judged by knowledgeable designers, if available. Ideally, the presentation will be digital, in the form of a Google Sketch Up or AutoCAD design (free for education). If technology is not available, students can create posters to illustrate their designs. The plans that accompany the model must include key physics information showing that students understand how physics influences the forces on a keel and sails.


  • Science > General
  • Science > Physics

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


Newton's Laws sailing keel sail design physics motion force force diagram



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Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Chris McVarish
August 11, 2014
Todd A. Sherman (ShermanTank)
August 8, 2014

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