Academy students build remote-control aquatic craft

Students at the Minds Inspired Academy Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering camp.

Taking a cue from Cayman’s nautical past, a group of students tackled the challenge of building their own boats at last week’s Minds Inspired Academy Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering camp.

The academy is produced in partnership with Webb Institute, an undergraduate naval architecture and marine engineering school. Matthew Werner, dean of Webb Institute, led the five-day program.

Students learned basic principles of marine engineering before designing remotely operated vehicles. Once they completed the theory and design process, the students built and tested their creations.

On the final day of the camp, the students put the watercraft through a series of timed tasks to determine which was best. The tasks included transporting bricks from one side of a pool to the other, a tug of war and a race to see which boat was fastest. Girl Power, engineered by an all-female team, was the winner.

“MI Academy is designed to boost student interest in [science, technology, engineering and math] through applied theory and hands-on educational activities,” Glenda McTaggart, education programs manager at Dart, said in a statement. “I was amazed by how engaged the participants were and how well they translated advanced engineering concepts into operational devices.”

Students that missed this year’s academy can sign up for SeaPerch at their school in the coming term to learn similar marine engineering concepts and build their own remotely operated vehicles.

Teams from each school come together every March for the Cayman Islands SeaPerch competition, where the top two teams move on to an international competition.

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