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Students begin hydrofoil project with guidance from PNSY staff

posted Sep 15, 2014, 6:00 AM by Fran Prentice

On September 3rd, one day after the start of the new school year, a small group of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PSNY) personnel plus a member of the U.S.S. Scranton, a Los Angeles-Class submarine currently dry docked for an engineering overhaul at PNSY, visited with students of a newly formed class at Wells High School called Hydrofoils Engineering, a year-long class co-taught by Jason Hludik and Chrys Demos.

The objective and centerpiece of this class is for students to create from scratch a functioning, human powered hydrofoil boat approximately 16 ft. long. The water craft will be capable of achieving lift over water, thereby significantly reducing drag and increasing speed. 

The advisers from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are mechanical engineer Trevor Thompson, mechanical engineer Dave Hawk, PSNY Outreach Program Manager Rick Cecchetti and MM2(SS) Steven Weston of the U.S.S Scranton.

These guests introduced themselves then spoke about their day-to-day work at the shipyard.  They also discussed how they can assist the students with their project as the design and construction moves forward.  The four plan to be available for email questions and to make weekly visits to the class.   Later this fall, these students and their teachers will be invited to tour the PNSY facility in Kittery.

The hydrofoil project will require design, creation, and integration of a hull, propulsion, stabilization and foil systems.   It is the foil system that ultimately, will allow the craft to elevate over the water’s surface.  Hludik said this class will combine math, technology, engineering and science.  The project will require students (with diverse ages and skill levels) to study chemistry, physics, Newton’s Laws, engineering design process,  3-D design and printing as those subjects pertain to the design and function of a hydrofoil.    

The hydrofoil project is expected to be completed and successfully tested in Wells Harbor in late May or early June of 2015.  Teachers Hludik and Demos also plan to have the students create a power point presentation for District students and the School Committee documenting the ‘start to finish’ of the nine month endeavor.

Caption:  Back row from left to right: Trevor Thompson, Rick Cecchetti, Dave Hawk, Steven Weston, Kyle Goodale, Ryan Marsh, Jason Hludik, Chrys Demos and Gavin Turnbull.   Front row (l to r): Zack Pierce, Nate Ouellette, Erskine Lothrop, Dan Charpentier, Jake Wilson and David Jacobs.

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