Project Hydroplane Racing Program - STEM Learning Made Fun
Project Hydroplane Racing Program - STEM Learning Made Fun
Project-based STEM curriculum that fully engages otherwise bored students and prepares them for the real world!
Project-based STEM curriculum that fully engages otherwise bored students and prepares them for the real world! Read more
The Project Hydroplane Racing Program (PHRP) is project-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum that fully engages otherwise bored students and prepares them for the real world!
Created by Dr. HA Hasan, Associate Professor of Education at Spaulding University in Louisville, Kentucky, the PHRP is designed to enhance the learning experiences of students from the General Education population (2nd - 12th grades) and to empower those students from the Special Education population. The program is emcompassed within federal and state-generated standards-based curricula, and integrates the content areas of math, science (inquiry) and literacy (thinking and reasoning).
Since 1985, over 3,000 students across dozens of schools throughout the United States have participated in the PHRP. What began as one educator's desire to encourage his students to take ownership of their own learning has evolved into a proven methodology for not only controlling behavior in the classroom, but also conveying advanced concepts of math, science and literacy.
As a new elementary school teacher in 1985, Dr. Hasan could not ignore the fact that the majority of his students were bored and uninspired with the traditional lecture-based teaching approach so commonly used by educators.
In an attempt to gain the interest of his class, Dr. Hasan took his childhood passion for building and racing model hydroplanes and began using them as a hands-on teaching tool. The response was both immediate and astonishing. Students who had previously displayed little to no interest in their schoolwork suddenly became highly engaged in the learning process. Attendance and behavioral problems, once daily struggles, virtually disappeared.
Dr. Hasan's newfound teaching approach not only allowed him to gain and hold the interest of his class, but it gave him the opportunity to introduce concepts of math, science and literacy well in advance of when they would normally be taught. Utilizing model hydroplanes in a project-based format would prove to be exactly what his students wanted, and needed.
Over the next few years, Dr. Hasan gradually increased the level of sophistication of his project-based teaching methodology, eventually expanding it to the middle and high school levels. By 1993, he had established the foundational curriculum for what is now the Project Hydroplane Racing Program.
The PHRP is rooted in the constructivist learning philosophy, which theorizes that learning occurs when students are actively involved in a process as opposed to just passively receiving information. In this regard, the PHRP is a complete paradigm shift from how instruction has been historically delivered in our schools.
During the course of the program, students individually build, test and race foam board model hydroplanes. With each new module that is introduced during the hydroplane building process there is a corresponding educational component related to either math, science or literacy (or some combination thereof).
The PHRP is divided into three (3) Curricular Designs...
- 6-Week Curriculum (18 hours)
- 12-Week Curriculum (36 hours)
- Adjustable Curriculum (individualized hours)
...and is available at four (4) distinct Program Levels:
- Elementary School - 2nd to 5th grades
- Middle School - 6th to 8th grades
- High School - 9th to 12th grades
- Pre-Service Teacher Component (train the trainer)
Each student is provided their own hydroplane kit which contains the following:
- Pre-cut hydroplane parts (no cutting required)
- Painter's tape (used to clamp parts together)
- Rockets (3-pack)
- Cross-curricular workbook (Elementary, Middle or High School or Pre-Service Teacher)
- Online video instructions (building the hydroplane)
The PHRP curriculum allows each individual teacher the ability to spend as much or as little time as they choose on any particular module.
The PHRP embraces three sets of objectives, all of which are measurable through both quantitative and qualitative analytical methods, and relate directly to national math, science (inquiry) and literacy standards.
Math: National Council of Teachers and Mathematics (NACTM)
1. Number and Operations - Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers and number systems.
- Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another.
- Compare fluently and make reasonable estimates.
2. Algebra - Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Understand patterns, relations and functions.
- Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols.
- Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.
- Analyze change in various contexts.
3. Geometry - Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Analyze characteristics and properties of two and three dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships.
- Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems.
- Apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze mathematical situations.
- Use visualization, spatial reasoning and geometric modeling to solve problems.
4. Measurement - Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems and processes of measurement.
- Apply appropriate techniques, tools and formulas to determine measurements.
5. Data Analysis and Probability - Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize and display relevant data to answer them.
- Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
- Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
- Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.
Science Inquiry: National Science Education Standards
Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations.
- Design and conduct a scientific investigation.
- Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
Literacy: Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), Content Knowledge Standards - Thinking and Reasoning
Students will exhibit the ability to:
- Understand and apply the basic principles of presenting an argument.
- Understand and apply basic principles of logic and reasoning.
- Effectively use mental processes that are based on identifying similarities and differences.
- Understand and apply basic principles of hypothesis testing and scientific inquiry.
- Apply basic trouble-shooting and problem-solving techniques.
- Apply decision-making techniques.
With 30+ years of experience in Education, Dr. Hasan’s public school experience in the Seattle Public School District includes self-contained programs designed for students classified as Seriously Behaviorally Disabled (SBD) in grades 4-12. He spent two years with the Hawaii Department of Education in a self-contained high school program for students in the category of Emotionally Disturbed (ED).
Throughout his career, Dr. Hasan has worked extensively with gang involved students as well as other troubled children and adolescents. Further, Dr. Hasan has worked with the Special Education teacher preparation programs of Eastern Michigan University and the University of Washington.
Dr. Hasan earned his B.A. Degree from Washington State University (Pullman) in Political Science, his M.Ed. Degree from the University of Washington (Seattle), and his Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Washington (Seattle).
Risks and challenges
The Project Hydroplane Racing Program has a 30+ year track record of success in encouraging students of all ages and backgrounds to gain and maintain an interest in school and learning. That being said, this will be the first time we have mass produced and distributed the hydroplane kits. Up to this point, each kit has been painstakingly hand-cut and packaged, so we are excited about the prospect of being able to meet the demand we've previously lacked the manpower to fulfill.
Currently, we have over a dozen different hydroplane designs, however we have made the decision at this time to initially launch just one model, the X-10, so that we might fully understand and address the challenges inherent with wide-scale distribution before expanding the product line. Our goal is to release two additional hydroplane designs by late 2019.
We are fortunate that mass producing the hydroplane kits does not require any special tooling or molds, so our upfront production costs are relatively low when compared to similar product offerings. Due to the nature of the foamboard material used to construct the hydroplanes, we are able to easily make design changes and adjustments without incurring any significant costs.
The PHRP is not a "plug-and-play" program. It is not a DVD that a teacher merely pops in or a snap-together toy that can be assembled in 5 minutes. It is a comprehensive learning system that requires an educator's commitment to seeing the program through to completion before embarking on the journey. We understand that for most teachers this will be a complete paradigm shift from how they have traditionally taught, and we are committed to providing the support and guidance they will need to make this initiative a success for years to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)