Farmington Class Learns Techniques for Making Composite Catamaran

january 31 2012

Students in the composite program are working with Mt. Blue physics teacher, Jake Bogar, on a Maine Windblade Challenge. Students will create 3-foot wind turbine blades for competition in Orono in April, John MacDonald, composite teacher at Foster Tech, said. The winning team takes $50,000 in scholarships and work-study funds but the project involves combining the studies of physics, chemistry and composites.

MacDonald said he became involved in the 1970s, designing and building a kayak with composites. He brought his knowledge to the classroom. An electric car built from composites in 1996 in the class competed nationally and won, and sits in the new classroom.

"This was the first composite program in the state, New England and maybe nationally," MacDonald said. MacDonald promotes the program for other tech centers around the state, Kapiloff said. One just started in the Bath school system. The program draws students from Mt. Abram, Rangeley, Mt. Blue and Spruce Mountain, more than the program can take.

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