There is not a good linear correlation(~44%) between the weight in a paper boat and the amount of time that it takes to sink using a range of 5 to 175 grams. The correlation can be better defined using exponential regression which shows a correlation of ~77%. I believe the major lurking variable is the thickness of the paper. Although I was unable to measure the paper's thickness, this seems to be a logical explanation as to why some of the boats acted completely different. Another lurking variable that I didn't anticipate was the way the boat sides might cave in more quickly or remain unmoved from boat to boat. I did use a consistent method so that all of the boats were very similar in build, but the difference in the size and shape of the cargo placed stress in different spots on the sides of the boats.

It is my opinion that the buoyancy of the construction paper I used needs at least 15 grams added to cause it to sink. Once you've exceeded this limit the added weight and time to sink become more and more linear as the increased weight overcomes the buoyancy of the paper until the point at which the weight would eventually be so great that the boat would sink immediately. Keeping this in mind it is important to not use this data to extrapolate beyond the data given.

Andrew Hoadley

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