Benjamin and I attended the “Accepted Student Day” at Wentworth Institute of Technology on April 1. The MBTA station is about a 7 minute walk from our house. From there, the train took us to Ruggles station, only an 8 minute walk from Wentworth campus.
We attended seminars, went on an extended campus tour, and viewed some of the laboratories. Nice labs! Wentworth emphasizes a “hands on” approach to learning. I would like to get my own hands on one of those CNC machines myself!
Next, we had a good lunch in the gymnasium, then walked around the different booths for college organizations, and collecting pens.
Before the afternoon train came, we walked down Huntington Avenue, to Christine’s cousin’s house, less than 1/2 mile away. I’m sure we were on the correct street, but we had forgotten their house number.
Meanwhile, M and K had found an interesting pile of reeds on the road near the local grade school. They decided to build a raft out of the reeds.
Benjamin and I arrived back from Boston in the late afternoon. Christine was cooking supper. M and K got me to take them to the pile of reeds, to begin construction.
At first, the idea was to bundle the reeds together, using twine. However, we decided instead of using twine, to try and weave the reeds together in a sort of mat.
We all got busy…
Finally, the raft was “complete”. The SS “ReedWreck” was ready for her maiden voyage! Since the Ten Mile River was way too choppy for the raft, I carried it to Mechanics Pond for testing.
I was certain the ReedWreck would not hold a person. However, in the interests of Engineering Rigour, I allowed some bouyancy testing. First K, then M stepped on the raft to see what would happen. Sure enough, the raft was pushed straight to the bottom.
By the way, mud boots are wonderful during New England early Spring!
K was a bit disappointed that the ReedWreck would not support her weight. She and M started discussing how make it a better floater. Should they have put the extra “fluffy” bits on the bottom of the raft? Should they add more fallen branches?
It was time for supper. The ReedWreck was stowed on shore, in an out of the way place. More engineering would have to wait until tomorrow.
Saturday was colder, and raining. A perfect day for raft testing! M, K, and I donned foul weather gear, and tromped over to the pond.
K wanted to improve the ReedWreck, so it would hold a person. I suggested that instead, we see if ReedWreck would hold a cargo.
M found a rock that would serve nicely as cargo. He lugged it over to our craft, and loaded the cargo. Success!! ReedWreck floated with its cargo!
K was still a little distraught that ReedWreck would not hold her. I told her, that ReedWreck was a complete success. Just look at what we learned: Weaving reeds together, problem solving, working toward our goal, and constructing a raft that would take a cargo!
K was happier after that “Dad analysis” of our engineering and construction. But K is still wondering if a larger raft of sticks would work as a boat…