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The Engines in Maine

unnamed-1After a quick overview of the curriculum on Vessel Operations and Technology, our guide gave us the opportunity to talk to the Maine Maritime students about the project they were currently working on.

They were reassembling an engine after disassembling it, which they said was done with 8 hours of work. I took that as an opportunity to sort of show up my friend Bryan and prove that I knew more about engines then him (I’m in Marine Systems Tech, MST). Although it was a childish kind of thing, it gave us the chance to show how much we knew and what we didn’t know. The gaps in vessel ops knowledge were filled by MST. That’s why we have all six CTEs.

If we got something wrong, the students weren’t afraid of correcting us. They really tried their best to not allow us to leave that room with wrong answers and wrong assumptions. After our little competition, the group as a whole started asking about the different parts of an engine.

That eventually turned into questions about the students themselves and their back story. One of the students we talked to, Jessie, said that she was from Philadelphia, so going from a big city to a rural community was a bit of a culture shock. She adjusted quickly however and is now in her 4th year at her college. This experience was great for me, because I got to see a better picture of a real workplace environment. There was a lot of open space, so for the most part, the shop was spotless. They were at least six engines in the shop, and each engine had two students working on it. I hope that after this experience, I can bring what I saw at Maine Maritime over to the MST shop and the boat building temporary cover.


By Eric Soto, Marine Systems Technology Junior

Celestial Navigation

unnamed-2On Thursday, April 20th, 2017, we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to sit in a planetarium classroom while Captain Rick Miller taught us about celestial navigation. The classroom was an odd shape, with a dome ceiling bordered with a beautiful mural painted by a local school. Captain Rick Miller presented himself as an intelligent and humorous man. It was clear that he enjoys his job.

GPS and other navigation technology isn’t always necessary. For centuries, people didn’t even have maps to travel by. He spoke about how useful celestial navigation is to find your location. On the ceiling, Captain Rick showed us a program that showed us all of the stars useful for navigation. We learned how to spot constellations. Living in NYC we can barely see one star on the clearest of nights. We also learned how to use longitude and latitude to find where we are. We were introduced to a tool, a sextant, that determines the altitude of the star, allowing us to find where we are in relation to the star. All I could imagine during this presentation was being on the Lettie G. Howard, locating where we are using the stars in the sky. If I was a student at Maine Maritime, I definitely take this celestial navigation class.

We all loved this Maine Maritime trip. We were lucky for this experience and are each grateful for this. I’m glad I got to visit this college because now I have another college I’m confident I’d love. Maine Maritime may be hours away, but it hits close to home.


By Emily Reyes, Marine Systems Technology Junior