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Aidan Woods applies engineering skills to create art

Aidan+Woods+works+on+the+trophies+he+designed+for+the+regatta.+
Kurt Lichtenwald
Aidan Woods works on the trophies he designed for the regatta.

To commemorate the 400 year anniversary of Gloucester, the sailing team held a boat race event, also known as a regatta.  Aidan Woods, a member of the sailing team took it upon himself to design and hand-build a total of 6 trophies for this event. Not only that, but he contributed the design for the sailing T-shirts as well. Woods’ passion for sailing and engineering was the motivation behind it all. With the guidance of a great collection of teachers, Woods was able to experiment and utilize all materials and machinery available to him to produce the best product possible. 

During the early design process, Woods modeled the iterations on paper and cardboard cutouts and later he spent considerable time on adobe illustrator, a software taught to him by Ms. Harney, trying to design the clear illuminated piece. He adjusted angles, widths, and curves to imitate the shape of a sail. Before he could start production of the trophies he asked fellow classmates and teammates input on the drafts. It wasn’t until near the end of the designing process that he decided to add in a light. Woods’ decision in adding the illuminating element was to put some “extra flare” in the trophies.

Similar to the design process, producing these trophies required lots of trial and error.

“Engraving the letters took a while because we first tried to use the CO2 laser cutter but it wasn’t strong enough,” Woods said. “Then we tried acid etching with transfer paper. . . but it was not precise or practical.” In the end what they engraved the letters with was ceramic laser marking spray and that was only for the bronze metal plaque. Coach L, Mr. Coye, and Mr. Quinn all walked Woods through the basics of the machinery and gave him guidance when necessary.

Woods aspires to be a naval architect. This project as well as the Computer Aided Design and Engineering Manufacturing and Design classes he took and continues to take has broadened his knowledge for the betterment of his future careers whether that be naval architecture or any engineering field. 

“Experience wise I think a lot of the software we use helped,” Woods said. “Software is of course good to learn for any engineering field. 3D modeling too.” 

Gloucester Education Foundation along with the Engineering team in GHS opened the door for this amazing chance to break the restraints of the curriculum and go above and beyond in an area of interest. Not only has it allowed this student to express himself but the sailing trophy project also contributed to the sailing team community. Hopefully it will inspire and encourage more students of GHS to make projects like this in the future.

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About the Contributor
FINNEGAN LEVER, Staff Writer
Finnegan Lever is a junior at GHS and a first year staff writer for The Gillnetter.  He enjoys creative writing, especially poetry. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading classic novels and sketching.  You can reach him with story ideas at [email protected]

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