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October 23, 2018

Collaboration Among Oswego 6th Graders Key For Hovercraft Lesson


OSWEGO – A combination of science, math and life skills brought Oswego City School District sixth graders together for successful hovercraft rides.

Riley sixth grader Amanda Porter glides along the gymnasium on a team-made hovercraft at Fitzhugh Park Elementary during a grade-level event with both schools.

Riley sixth grader Amanda Porter glides along the gymnasium on a team-made hovercraft at Fitzhugh Park Elementary during a grade-level event with both schools.

A full day’s work was put in by teams of students, whose members were assigned designated roles of leadership, measurement and data recording, among others.

Periods of trial and error brought the teams closer together as they learned collaboration, teamwork, listening and problem-solving skills.

Each OCSD elementary building participated in the Hovercraft Project, which enabled students and their teachers to ride hovercrafts from one side of a gymnasium to the other.

Led by Matthew Chase of Chase Educational Consulting, the project taught students that failure is about lessons learned to improve issues to make a successful hovercraft run.

During the recent Fitzhugh Park Elementary and Charles E. Riley Elementary combined event, CER sixth grade teacher Chris Trepasso said the students had recalled academic lessons of force, motion, resistance, center of mass, geometry, measurement and data to better grasp the most effective hovercraft techniques.

Once students tested the air-powered machines and raced, several teachers and staff members had a chance at the hovercraft fun.

The Hovercraft Project was brought to the OCSD, thanks to the Center for Instruction, Technology and  Innovation’s Arts-in-Education program.

One Response “Collaboration Among Oswego 6th Graders Key For Hovercraft Lesson”

  1. Robin Paine
    September 28, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    For those interested in these fascinating machines, there is a 700 page book, with 450 pictures called ‘On a Cushion of Air’, (available through Amazon and Kindle), which tells the story of Christopher Cockerell’s discovery that heavy weights could be supported on a cushion of low pressure air, and the development of the hovercraft by those who were there, from the very early days through to the heyday of the giant 165-ton SRN.4, which crossed the English Channel starting in 1968 carrying 30 cars and 254 passengers at speeds in excess of 75 knots on a calm day. It was subsequently widened to carry 36 cars and 280 passengers with an A.U.W. of 200 tonnes and was later lengthened to an A.U.W of 325 tons and capable of carrying 55 cars and 424 passengers. The amazing point was that from 165 tons to 325 tons only 400 extra hp on each engine was required, although a bit of speed was sacrificed, proving conclusively that Christopher Cockerell’s theory was sound.

    Sadly, for economic reasons, the SR.N4 service came to an end on 1st October 2000. In total 6 SR.4s were built and the one remaining one is in the Hovercraft Museum at Lee-on-Solent, England.

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