Port Henry A century after the ill-fated Titanic was launched, a group of Moriah Central School students have demonstrated their ship-building skills — with better results.
Technology students studied water transportation and built kayaks, which were then tested and raced in the school pool.
“Overall, I was pleased with each student’s desire to do well and optimize their projects,” teacher Aaron Brassard said. “I was equally impressed with their ability to work together in small groups and problem-solve issues they encountered.”
Three teams constructed vessels and raced.
“They learned about the parts of a boat, nautical terms, Archimedes’ Principle, water displacement, hull designs, power sources and basic boating safety,” Brassard said. “Students applied their knowledge in an authentic manner as they worked in small groups to create foam kayaks.
“When students realized they were going to compete in a race, their interest and motivation levels increased,” he said.
Teams featured Noah Gilbo, Ian Williams and Geoffrey Gardner; Lucas Cutting, Joseph Cutting and Joseph Rodriguez; and Max Slycord, Colter Dunning, Neil French and Nicholas Allen.
“I really wanted to win and knew that we had to do a good job shaping our hull so that there would be less resistance as it traveled through the water,” Dunning said.
Prior to the race students had an opportunity to test their boats.
“Some had some stability issues,” Brassard said. “However, students were able to problem-solve and make necessary adjustments by adding some small pontoon-shaped stabilizers on the port and starboard side of their boat. One team made and attached a small keel that helped keep their kayak on a straight path.”
Each team selected a member to paddle their kayak in the race. Each boat had to maneuver the length of the pool and back.
The team of Slycord, Dunning, French and Allen proved the fastest.
“Each kayak performed fairly well, however, Max Slycord was able to out-paddle the competition and finish first for his team,” Brassard said.
Mike Aitner assisted students with the project, sharing his kayak plans. Chris Mazzotte volunteered as pool lifeguard during the trials and competition.