"Wantirna College is beginning construction on our second hovercraft using the DiscoverHover One plans ... because they work!
Having no experience in this type of project, we rely heavily on the DiscoverHover One plans and the DiscoverHover web site for guidance. The project has been a great experience, with very positive feedback from parents, students and staff. One long-serving staff member says this is the best project he has seen at the school in his 22 years. And the 14 students in the Technology Club have seen their ranks swell to more than 40 students.
|Wantirna College year 9 & 10 students
during the construction of their DiscoverHover
|| As an educator, the rewards I've received
from your program cannot be put into words.
When you have a student who believes he or she
can't do math sit down and persist in transferring
measurements and angles from plans to timber,
calculating cuts so they can get the most out
of the timber they have available, and to make
the hovercraft fit together properly -- that
learning speaks for itself!
Wantirna College has made a commitment to the
DiscoverHover school hovercraft program. I see
it playing an important role in the school's
growing identity as a leading government school
in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne."
"I can't tell you how excited my students are
about building a hovercraft. I've been teaching for
30 years and I cannot remember this level of excitement
in any other project I have done with students. And
their parents cannot believe that their 6th and 7th
grade kids are doing something like this.
It's a great project, and it brings
to life the math and science they are learning in
their other classes. It brings excitement to education:
math and science now become something my students
want to understand so they can apply that knowledge
to building their hovercraft.
This year the hovercraft construction
is an after school Tech Club activity, but next year
I'm going to incorporate the DiscoverHover project
into the curriculum so it will be fused into a part
of what I teach every day.
I found DiscoverHover.org to be outstanding.
The online curriculum guides were one of the main
reasons I first went to your site. From there I saw
everything else, and thought, 'Wow!'"
Technology Education Instructor
Ellicott Mills Middle School
Ellicott City, Maryland USA
building our hovercraft as a Technology Education
II class project, 18 students, sophomores through
seniors. One of the most valuable aspects of the project
is the excitement of the students. Our enrollment
went up this year, and I think this has played a part
I demonstrated our hovercraft last
week to about 40 Physics teachers from northern
Illinois and gave them your web site. They're very
excited about it. Physics classes can really benefit
from the DiscoverHover curriculum guides."
Industrial Technology Department Chair
Cary- Grove High School
Cary, Illinois USA
"This is the first time I've done a hovercraft
project with my students. It was their idea and they're
extremely excited. I teach design, so the design they're
using is completely original - I wanted the students
to do full-fledged research on what's out there, then
engineer from scratch. DiscoverHover.org has been
a large part of that. The site is great, very positive.
We're planning to use the hovercraft as a marketing
tool to demonstrate to high schools and say, 'Hey,
look what you can do at AASU, look how much fun
you can have."
Dr. Cameron Coates
Assistant Professor of Engineering Studies
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Savannah, Georgia USA
"It is of great interest that we came across
your website. We have been searching for a project
to take us over the coming annual school break (eight
weeks) to keep our students occupied and out of mischief,
a difficult task as you can appreciate. We have scoured
the Internet for the right ideas but have just found
the usual stuff – cars, bikes, go-carts and
such. Then one of our younger fellows shouts, "Eureka!
It has got to be a hovercraft!"
As we are very close to a tidal river with mudflats
it does seem a very exciting project indeed. We
have kindly been donated a 250cc motorbike engine
and the local timber merchant has promised us
access to as much sheet plywood as necessary.
Keep up the great work!"
David Bull, Youth Leader
& the lads & lasses
Winlaton, Tyne & Wear, Great Britain
brings us back to one of the School of Technology’s
core values — learning by doing. Students
get a real-life context by taking on projects
such as this. It’s not a canned experience
like they might get in a lab. They have to come
up with the ideas and the solutions. They are
working with applications in engineering and
aerodynamics. Here are eight young men working
it out without interpersonal conflict — they’re
working as a team. It’s a fun experience,
it is an international experience, and it is
a problem-rich experience and they are solving
those problems, which is extremely valuable.
This can lead to all kinds of opportunities.”
Dr. W. Tad Foster
Dean, School of Technology
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana USA
“When an organization does a project like this, it gives students additional
real-life, problem-solving skills. They are not only doing the work, they are
managing a project. We’ve learned that, all else being equal, a manager
who has experience in the technology behind a project is a better manager than
one who does not have that experience; we’re preparing managers.”
Chairperson and Professor
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana USA
"I have been working with the Australian
Hovercraft Federation President, Ken Osmond, on
both hovercraft construction at my school, Billanook
College, and on promotion of hovercraft construction
to schools. I also have extensive involvement
in organising and promoting the Australian International
Model Solar Vehicle Challenge.
The DiscoverHover program looks to be a fabulous
project which will engage many students."
Letter to Chris
Fitzgerald, DiscoverHover Chairman, from a group
of primary level instructors who are establishing
an instructional unit around area manufacturing
for their students:
I just wanted to thank
you for taking time out of your busy schedule to
talk with us and share your work. We certainly
learned a great deal. As teachers we don't often
get the chance to get involved in the business
community, especially a "pioneering industry."
On reflecting upon
our time with you, we see many parallels to the
work we do in the classroom. We too often sense
we are working in a laboratory – the laboratory
of little lives. Helping children become good decision
makers, helping them value perseverance and helping
them to embrace challenge are qualities that will
benefit them in all aspects of life....
We are excited about
the possibilities of designing an instructional
unit around manufacturing in the Wabash Valley.
Your reference to Adam Smith and the division of
labor seems to us to be a good starting point, for
this principle can be simulated in the classroom.
hovercraft industry and discovering the uses for
this vehicle [that rides] on air will instantly
capture the interest of our students.
As soon as we get
moved into our new school and back online, we plan
to access the DiscoverHover.org website. Hopefully
this can become a big part of our project with the
students. We are not yet sure of the shape of our
instructional design, however, we noted well your
advice that we can't focus on everything.
Again, thank you for
showing us how the hovercraft is made. We thoroughly
enjoyed our time with you. Your pioneering spirit
Dr. Jean Church
Sugar Creek Consolidated School
West Terre Haute, Indiana US
"I'm very excited about this new group, mainly because
now for the first time the hovercraft industry is
actively helping young people and students everywhere
get hands-on experience with hovercraft by sending
plans free, so any and all schools or instructors
can participate." Zang continues, "I have been involved
with many school hovercraft projects and have learned
what great learning projects they are and how excited
the young people are to build and operate their
own craft. Now any interested student or organization
Director, Hoverclub of America
President, Universal Hovercraft
"The idea of hover building
projects is what should have been done a long time
ago. I hope there are kids who can scrape the money together to buy a ticket
[to Australia]. The website layout is beautiful."
Photo: Stephen Snyder of the
Benson High School Hovercraft Team awaits the
green flag at Hoosier Hovercraft Championship
2003, Terre Haute, Indiana USA.
a teacher, this has been and will continue
to be one of the best projects we do in Engineering
Technology. It has increased our enrollment
in this course so much that next year we have to
expand it to four periods instead of three. Students ask me in the
hallway everyday, 'What class do I take to make the hovercraft?' Our
students have nicknamed our school Hovercraft
Joe Olafson and
Benson High School Hoverclub #5127
Omaha, Nebraska USA
"This is a golden opportunity for young people
to get involved with a worthwhile and extremely interesting
activity. There are more than ten million high school
students in the U.S. alone. From my own experience
in schools, I believe one in twenty would be willing
and eager to build their own hovercraft if it were
easy enough and they had the necessary guidance.
Perhaps the most important factor regarding school
hovercraft projects is that they involve young people
in a challenging and satisfying experience, making
Designer of the DiscoverHover hovercraft
and Hovercraft World Speed Record holder
Cordova, Illinois USA
a fun class to teach, a chance to apply physics,
math and science in a practical way. The program
has made the school look very good - a tremendous
public relations program."
Penn High School
Mishawaka, Indiana USA
a remarkable tool for getting students excited about
engineering. The Hovercraft’s nature is such
that a constant source of problem solving is needed
to make them work. Students get so much out of the
challenge to solve issues … Major professional
society sponsorship is critical. I can sell any program
to our University when I have backing from the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE) or any major professional
Dr. Gary Butson
Chairman, Dept. of Technology
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois USA
am looking at collegiate programs involving hovercraft
which both the university and students can afford.
I am much more interested in a program where the
students can engineer their way to success rather
than buying their way in."
learning experience for kids not involved in other
Transportation Technology Instructor
Terre Haute North Vigo High School
Terre Haute, Indiana USA
problem-solving activity, and reinforced math,
science and physics skills."
Avon High School
Avon, Indiana USA
sheriff uses a Hovercraft to promote Drug Awareness
and Response Education (DARE). The Hovercraft is
very popular and really gets kids excited not only
about drug prevention and awareness but about Hovercraft
as well. I host presentations where we build foam
cup straw and balloon toy Hovercraft and work our
way up to radio controlled Hovercraft.”
“We started looking for something
we could take to high schools in our area that would
get students excited about science. We ran across
the program, started building radio-controlled models,
then the DiscoverHover One. Now we have 4 high schools
building DiscoverHover Ones.”
Electronics Engineering Teacher
Department of Technology
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois, USA
“The excitement and enthusiasm
of this program in our community, as well as other
regional communities, convinced me that we need to
develop materials for other schools to get involved.”
Parish Hill High School
Chaplin, Connecticut, USA.
"We would do this (build
a hovercraft) again in a heartbeat if we could get
Lawrence Central High School
Indianapolis, Indiana USA