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Proviso West NJROTC Engineers Boats

March 14, 2014 08:35 AM
On February 26, juniors in the Proviso West High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) unit hit the pool to test out the boats that they had designed and built.

With outstanding results, the model boats, each powered by remote control, floated up and down the lanes of the pool at Proviso West, showcasing the design and engineering that went into their construction.

Chief Al Whitten, a junior naval science instructor at Proviso West, said the building of the boats is the culmination of a unit during the third quarter where students learned about the importance of a strong navy. He said that the students learned what goes into the design, engineering, and eventual construction of a ship. The students then built their own Navy ship with a remote control that would be tested in the water.

w-njrotc-boats2-300"We’re teaching the kids about the importance of the Navy throughout the world," Chief Whitten said. "To top it off, let’s make it fun by making a Navy boat. At the same time, though, this is a major part of their grade."

In the pool, the boats ran through their paces in the water, with sophomores who are part of the NJROTC program watching from the stands. The students who were being tested also had to present information about their ships, which ranged in design from an American Revolution-era frigate to modern aircraft carriers.

One team, comprised of Brittney Bady, Destiny Mattox, and Eligah Skinner, built a model aircraft carrier based on the design of the USS Enterprise, which gained fame for its use in the Pacific campaign during World War II. To recreate the gray design of the carrier, the students wrapped gray duct tape around the Styrofoam body before placing toy airplanes and helicopters on the ship’s deck.

w-njrotc-boats3-300"We liked how big the boat is and we liked the look," Brittney said.

Ladone Moore, a junior, built a 1776-era frigate. Christened as the USS Jack Dog, the ship included paper sails and little green soldiers on the deck.

"I liked the old fashioned boats," he said. "I liked how they made their sails and how they made their sides look alike."

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, said that the building of the boats encourages students to pursue more opportunities in math and science fields.

"As a nation, we are seeking more students who are excited about going into fields where math and science skills are critical," he said. "With projects such as this one, the students learn some of those skills along with gaining an appreciation of what has been used and what is used today to protect our country."
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