EMCC Students Team With French Students 

Last December we told you about a group of students at Eastern Maine Community College who had been teaming up with college students in France.Their mission? Design and build a tennis ball launcher.Today all four teams got the chance to show off their creations and go head-to-head with their classmates.Charlie Wharton is the Instructor for the Integrated Machines Instructor and says the students have been working on these launchers all semester. “I’m satisfied with them,” he says, “a couple of them are a little scary but I think they’re going well.”The teams communicated via video confrence and shipped parts overseas until each team had built their launcher. The 4 teams competed in distance and accuracy. A few students came all the way from France to take part in the competition.”It’s good to see if something works or not,” says french student Adrien Benoist, “it’s good to see how different people work in different countries.”Kevin Rousic also made the trip over from France. “I think it’s very interesting to compare the devices from France and the USA,” he says, “we worked very hard to make this. We took a lot of time in the workshop. I’m very happy with the result and I think we’re going to win.” Rousic was right. He and his teammate Cole Wills won the distance competition after firing a tennis ball more than 179 feet. “You know it was a lot of fun working with people from another culture and building the project and seeing it work through all of the work that we put into it,” says Wills, “I enjoyed it.”Phillip Moulton’s design won for accuracy after grouping five shots within 12 feet of each other. “It’s been a great experience,” says Moulton, “I learned a lot about myself and I learned a little bit about the metric system. I gained a lot from this opportunity.”Wharton says he hopes the students take away, not only a working knowledge of mechanics from the experience, but a variety of lessons. “Well the launchers are a very small part of it. I think they’ll get more from the cultural exchange. The french students over here they’ve developed quite a friendship with them and we do a lot of stuff outside of class so I think the camaraderie is the the biggest gain.”