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WHS becomes State winner in Samsung contest

posted Feb 27, 2015, 5:47 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School has been selected by Samsung Electronics America as winner for Maine in the state round of competition in the 2014/2015 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.   This recognition comes to WHS for the work of the school’s Hydrofoil Class currently in a nine-month process to create a hydrofoil craft from scratch.   

“Congratulations!” began a letter received by WHS earlier this winter from David Steel, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Communications with Samsung Electronics America.  “Your entry was chosen for its innovative approach to advancing interest in STEM among your students as well as making an impact in your community.”   Steel added, “Your commitment to your students and school as well as to advancing STEM education is evident through the great work that you are doing.”

The acronym STEM refers “to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in technology development.”  (Source: Wikipedia)

During an assembly on February 11th in the Olenn Auditorium, William Dawe, a Field Sales Manager with Samsung Telecommunications America presented the class with a plaque.

“I think it is phenomenal,” said Dawe in an interview about the WHS project he compared to a huge puzzle.  “I am excited to see what’s going to be the outcome at the end.”

All state winners will receive $20,000 in technology from Samsung.   Each will have the opportunity to compete further and become one of five national winners.

The objective of the Hydrofoil class at Wells High School is for students of varying backgrounds to create a functioning, human powered two passenger hydrofoil boat, approximately 16 feet in length and capable of achieving lift over water, significantly reducing drag and increasing speed. 

Going forward, state winners have to produce a short video about their project and present their video at a gathering in March.   A process will reduce the 51 finalists to five who will receive technology packages worth between $35,000 to $120,000 plus recognition at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The $8,800 hydrofoil project at Wells High School is dependent solely upon donations. Individuals and/or area businesses interested in contributing to the project by making either a financial or material donation need to first contact Jason Hludik or Chrys Demos at Wells High School either by phone at (207) 646-7011 or email to: jhludik@wocsd.org and cdemos@wocsd.org. 

Caption: Back row left to right: Ryan Marsh, Chrys Demos, Jason Hludik, Gavin Turnbull,     Jacob Wilson, Kyle Goodale and David Jacobs.   Front row (l to r): William Dawe of Samsung, Erskine Lothrop, Nathan Ouellette, Daniel Charpentier, and Zachary Pierce.  Present for the plaque presentation but not in the photograph is engineer Dave Hawk from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  Hawk is one of the advisors to the hydrofoil project.

 Caption: WHS Hydrofoil project student David Jacobs displaying a computer model of the planned hydrofoil.
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