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54233ab3796e9 Cayla Ray (3rd grader) and Kyle Odom
Cayla Ray (3rd grader) and Kyle Odom

September 11, 2014

The 3rd – 6th grade students at Happy Elementary School enjoy the opportunity to learn and experience Science.  Recently, their studies led  them to discover several principles of air pressure.  They created crafts made with plastic lids and balloons to see if the crafts could ride above the ground.   Next they tried to answer the question, “Can air hold me up in the same manner as a plastic lid?”  To discover the answer, they rode Hovercrafts, built by Kyle Odom of Happy, TX.  Mr. Odom built the Hovercrafts with leaf blowers, plywood and PVC pipes.  The Hovercrafts produced a large volume of air below the plywood floor, inflating a plastic skirt.  The pressure difference between the higher pressure air below the floor and lower pressure atmosphere above the floor produced lift, causing the hovercraft to float above the surface.  According to Gracie, a 4th grade student, “I learned that the leaf blower powered the hovercraft by creating air pressure.”  All of the students and their teachers rode the Hovercraft, asked questions, and learned about scientific concepts through experience.  Dylan, a 4th grade student, said, I learned the air does most of the work.”  Josh, a 4th grader, wrote, “I like that the hovercraft ran on a leaf blower, cost under $50, held three people, and looks like it is floating.”

Mr. Odom, an engineer and pilot, told the children to take time to figure things out, don’t expect everything to come to you.  Not only did he encourage the children to try something new, he encouraged them to seek knowledge and experience to fulfill their goals.  Happy Elementary staff and students are grateful to Mr. Odom for sharing his experience, knowledge, resources and his Hovercraft. 

Toni Waldo

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Happy ISD500 NW Third StreetHappy, TX  79042

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