Setting Sail

Engineering class float their boats.


Ashlynn Deadrick (Top), Valerie Bedoya Moncada (Left), and Jamie Kelly (Right), row their boats across the pool. Kelly holds a sword in her hands.

Oliver Capito, Staff Writer

The engineering class sailed boats across the natatorium pool last week. The sailing was part of a bigger project where students got to make their own boats.

“The main goal of this project was time and resource management,” John Shell, CTE teacher and supervisor of the project, said. “[The students] worked in a group both on and off campus. They built off campus, [and] I had very little restrictions. So, the students had an open book that they could write with.” 

According to Shell, although time and resource management was a big part of the project, having fun with it was just as important. 

“This year, I tried something different,” Shell said. “The students wanted to play battleship, so I showed up with tennis balls and let them throw them at each other. I was really concerned with how that was going to work out, but I decided to trust my students.”

After trying out the idea, Shell saw it as a success. Although it was a little risky (someone could have gotten hurt by the tennis balls), the students had fun.

“They seemed to really enjoy [battleship],” Shell said. “I was not expecting that to be as much fun as it was.”

12 boats sailed on the pool. Although a lot of the boats sank or were not stable for the students to ride on, one made by freshmen Ashlynn Deadrick, Valerie Bedoya Moncada, and Jamie Kelly floated across the water nicely.

“They came up with a really brilliant boat plan,” Shell said. “They came up and asked me a bunch of questions to start with. They grabbed [the boat plan], they changed it up, they made it way better.”

However, rowing the boats wasn’t perfect. Even some of the best boats had problems once they hit the water.

“It was really fun,” Moncada said. “There was one point where our boat changed the orientation, so we started rowing backwards.”

Thanks to the success of this project, Shell will most likely do battleship with his students again. 

“Personally, I like it when students are having fun with their projects,” Shell said. “And that’s what it really comes down to. I had a blast watching the kids testing their boats out there. It’s fun to watch [some] of them fall out and sink, but it’s a lot more fun seeing them successful.”