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Grand Bahama Shipyard uses expertise to help local teens build rockets
  
Thursday, 14 March 2013 16:56

All good ideas start with a plan.  Avelaino McGibbon, Mechanical Engineer at Grand Bahama Shipyard, assisted local high school students in this years SECME competition. He is shown here with the initial sketch for the compliance gauge that Grand Bahama Shipyard staff created to be used by the students for their water bottle rocket. (Photo courtesy of GBS for Barefoot Marketing)FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Employees of the Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) have lent their expertise to the youth of Grand Bahama, who have been working on the 15th Annual SECME Mousetrap Car and Bottle Rocket Competition.

Avelaino McGibbon, the first Grand Bahama graduate of Kettering University and now an engineer at the shipyard, has played an integral part in supporting the Grand Bahama school teams who competed this year in the renowned science event.  McGibbon joined forces with Dennis Knowles, of the Rotary Club of Lucaya, the SECME coordinator for Grand Bahama.

Knowles stated that SECME was established in 1975 and now brings together 40 universities, many industries and government agencies, 900 schools and over 20,000 students in America, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

The strict rules of the competition have been supported over the past few years through the technical experience of one of the GB Shipyard staff. In the past 3 years McGibbon has designed and built tools to support the Mouse Trap and Model Rocket competition events and he has visited the schools to promote science and technology.  He joined the Grand Bahama Shipyard team in March 2012 and now continues the support as part of the shipyard team.  

GB Shipyard staff help the cause.  Several staff from Grand Bahama Shipyard assisted local high school students in their quest to compete in the SECME competitions this year. Barry Fox, from the Carpentry Department, assisted by creating the box that held the compliance gauge built by GB Shipyard to assist the students competing in the Water Bottle Rocket event. (Photo courtesy of GBS for Barefoot Marketing)In particular, the GB Shipyard supported two specific events in the competition. The Mousetrap Car competition required the students to build cars that are propelled by the spring of a mousetrap. For the Water Bottle Rocket, students must build a rocket that must meet strict predetermined specifications. The competition not only includes the item but technical drawings and reports.

McGibbon and Knowles worked with all of the Grand Bahama teams on the rocket launcher control station and recent rocket rules compliance gauge that assists all of the teams during the competition.

Working with adults such as McGibbon, gives the students valuable exposure to the sciences and practical implementation. McGibbon said “Each year we attempt to assist the teams to become more compliant with the rules and also try to improve the measurement process with more redundancy and rechecking.”

McGibbon stated that he was pleased with the continuous improvement in the designs, participation and level of ingenuity from all the participating schools.  “The Bahamas has placed well in previous years when the winning team members of the Mouse Trap Car competition competed in USA. The Water Rocket competitors are showing steady and continuous improvement.”

Tabernacle students Mouse Trap Car.  Several schools competed in the SECME competition this year. Shown here are students from Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy, testing out their Mouse Trap Car. For this year’s competition, Shipyard staff designed and built a compliance gauge to assist in the water bottle rocket competition.  (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)In addition to McGibbon, other members of GB Shipyard worked with the youth throughout the year to help them be prepared for competition. Ed Pavey, Director of Technical and Planning, played an integral role by approving the shipyard’s ongoing support of the program and supported the technical aspects of designing the gauge.

“This type of educational competition is exactly what the youth of Grand Bahama needs to further their presence in the arena of science and technology,” said Pavey. “Witnessing this competition for the first time was truly invigorating and motivating!  Grand Bahama Shipyard, with its new association with the Bahamas Society of Engineers, pledges continued support for next year’s competition and vows to become the event’s largest corporate sponsor and urges other corporate entities to become involved in such a worthy cause.”

Building assistance was provided by Barry Fox, of the Carpentry Dept. of the shipyard. "This all important SECME Water Rocket Rules Compliance Gauge was first introduced this year and will be made mandatory in next year’s competition," Dennis Knowles, SECME coordinator from the Rotary Club of Lucaya, stated.

Putting the car to the test.  Teachers and staff, assisted by expert staff from the Grand Bahama Shipyard, all came together to guide the students in creating their mouse trap cars to compete in the local SECME championships.  (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)The support of the Grand Bahama Shipyard encourages students to explore careers in science and technology, in particular in the field of engineering and to show them that there is a future here for them in Grand Bahama.  The winning Senior and Junior teams will compete in the 37th Annual SECME National Student Engineering Competition, on June 16-23, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Photo 1: All good ideas start with a plan.  Avelaino McGibbon, Mechanical Engineer at Grand Bahama Shipyard, assisted local high school students in this years SECME competition. He is shown here with the initial sketch for the compliance gauge that Grand Bahama Shipyard staff created to be used by the students for their water bottle rocket. (Photo courtesy of GBS for Barefoot Marketing)

Photo 2: GB Shipyard staff help the cause.  Several staff from Grand Bahama Shipyard assisted local high school students in their quest to compete in the SECME competitions this year. Barry Fox, from the Carpentry Department, assisted by creating the box that held the compliance gauge built by GB Shipyard to assist the students competing in the Water Bottle Rocket event. (Photo courtesy of GBS for Barefoot Marketing)

Photo 3: Tabernacle students Mouse Trap Car.  Several schools competed in the SECME competition this year. Shown here are students from Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy, testing out their Mouse Trap Car. For this year’s competition, Shipyard staff designed and built a compliance gauge to assist in the water bottle rocket competition.  (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)

Photo 4: Putting the car to the test.  Teachers and staff, assisted by expert staff from the Grand Bahama Shipyard, all came together to guide the students in creating their mouse trap cars to compete in the local SECME championships.  (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)


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