RUMFORD – CEO’s from Boeing Aircraft in Seattle and General Motors Corp. in Detroit were in town recently to check on Kathy Kellogg’s third grade class at St. Athanasius-St. John Church. The class was designing, constructing and testing the feasibility of propeller-driven cars.

Using scissors, staplers, duct tape, manila folders, cardboard, dowels, glue guns, a 1 AA battery, wire, a 1 volt DC motor, the scientific method, Yankee ingenuity and a strong dose of stick-to-itiveness, the third grader’s creations took shape. Following current design standards of boxy models, they came up with a Conestoga wagon appearance that served the intended purpose well.

March 16 was the big day. As first- and second-graders looked on, the third-graders started their cars, put them in gear and sent them hurtling down the hallway at the school.

Each student made two attempts to travel the length of the hall. Walls were bumped into, spectators vacated their areas as cars hunted them down, propellers fell off, wheels wobbled, and while one car traveled 100 feet, another covered 5 feet, made a sharp turn, went down a set of stairs, left the building, and was last seen chugging down Maine Avenue.

The class ended with a discussion between the representatives and the third-graders to find ways to improve on the performances of their cars. Because of the discussion, many of the girls and boys vowed that they were going to be engineers when they grew up.


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