Grade 11 students at Cole Harbour District High School headed to Settle Lake on Friday morning for their final exam —to race cardboard boats they designed and built.

Cardboard boats

Tyler Dorey won the cardboard boat race. (CBC)

Under the guidance of design and drama teacher Jonathan Grady, teams built boats constructed from cardboard and tape.

"We tested models in the classroom, we sunk several little boats in tubs in the room, and they kept trying to figure out what was going to give them the best design ultimately," said Grady.

Once at the lake, the first test was to see if the 12 boats could float, then to see if they could hold the weight of a person without sinking.

The final challenge was to race the boats.

Chad Liebold

Chad Liebold's cardboard boat didn't live up to its projected carrying capacity. (CBC)

"Oh yeah! Hopefully I'll get a great mark for this," said student Tyler Dorey, who took first place. "I'm pretty proud of my boat, to be honest with you."

Not every boat did so well. Some boats that tested well in the classroom ended up going under in the lake.

Chad Liebold expected his boat would hold approximately 6,000 pounds. But, he says, when push came to shove, it didn't.

Students topped off the day with a report on how well their cardboard boat fared.

Grady said he has done the project at other schools but never at Cole Harbour district high.