Teams of student engineers are challenged to design, build and test a prototype pirate ship design. The prototype ship is tested for its ability to float and to sail around obstacles in a baby pool while carrying a load consisting of a crew, food, and a retrieved hidden treasure. Students use force diagrams to communicate predictions and test results about the buoyancy of various materials. They conduct research to gain and knowledge regarding a ship’s ability to float and sail. This new knowledge is then applied throughout the engineering design process used to build an effective ship. Also, student teams gather, record, and analyze data in order to make comparisons between various desighns as well as for use as a guide while redesigning their pirate ship.