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24 April 2014

Hovercraft Training: An educational experience for all ages

Hovercraft are not only all-weather, all-terrain vehicles – they’re all-ages vehicles, too! Hovercraft Training Centers’ graduates range from pre-teens to octogenarians. And when it comes to youth, HTC is actively involved in using hovercraft to enrich the educational experiences of students across the world.

As an example, HTC founder and Senior Instructor Chris Fitzgerald recently spent a Saturday at Sarah Scott Middle School in Terre Haute, IN showing students how learning can soar to new heights with hovercraft. Sarah Scott technology instructor Mark Kirby was looking for a way to prepare his students for their upcoming ISTEP tests. So he and his fellow teachers invited Fitzgerald to present a classroom session and take the kids for rides on an HTC Neoteric training hovercraft.

Besides learning all about hovercraft and the math and physics involved, the students played with remote controlled hovercraft and a hovering billiard ball built by Neoteric for the comedian Gallagher; they built their own hovercraft from CDs – and they were treated to actual rides in the HTC training hovercraft.

The students enjoyed guiding a Gallagher “hovering billiard ball” around the room. This is one of 15 “hovering
billiard balls” Neoteric manufactured for the U.S. comedian Gallagher – a small hovercraft powered by a
leaf blower and equipped with jupe skirts. Gallagher’s were built with a billiard ball top, not attached on this model.
Mark Kirby describes the program, “We wanted to use the hovercraft as a vehicle to show students that the math and language arts skills tested on ISTEP have a practical application. We invited any middle school student interested in participating and invited at least one of their parents. As it turned out, we had a few siblings attend that weren’t quite middle school age, making it a true family activity. So the ages ranged from 3rd graders to 8th graders (ages 8-14).

Using a small remote controlled hovercraft, Fitzgerald explains hovercraft skirts and their importance
in trapping the cushion air under the hovercraft - how the skirt acts as a seal to hold air under the craft.
And then the students moved on to the real thing! They were thrilled with their first ride ever
in a hovercraft around the school parking lot.
The day was a huge success. Not only did the students discover that studying can be fun, there seems to be no doubt that their experience is likely to improve their ISTEP scores.

We at HTC encourage teachers, school administrators and parents worldwide to take advantage of the interest hovercraft arouse and how easily they can excite kids about math, physics and other areas of learning. Studying is fun when it involves hovercraft!

Teachers & parents: Check out the links below to learn more:


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