Making a Connection: Michael G.

When a family friend won the BMI’s Maryland Engineering Bridge Challenge, Michael was inspired to try his hand at a challenge of his own. He decided to build a miniature, remote-controlled ship that could transport cargo on the Baltimore Harbor.

High school sophomore Michael G. always had an interest in building ships.

To start, Michael began by researching bulk carrier ships: their shape, how they work, and various design features.

Next was the fun part… calculus! You may not know it, but building a ship– even a miniature one– takes a lot of math. Michael needed to know how much water a given load of sugar would displace and if the ship would be able to stay afloat.

Michael’s favorite part of the challenge was building his ship. He glued layers of foam poster board together to form the hull of the ship, then waterproofed it with epoxy and fiberglass. The engine was wired into the stern of the ship. Once it was complete, Michael tested his ship four or five times to make sure it would perform well in the challenge. It did, and Michael won first place in the BMI’s 2021 Cargo Ship Challenge.

One of the rewarding parts of competing in the challenge was having his dad as a coach. Although it was “interesting at times,” Michael says, “having my dad teach you is kind of cool.”

In the end, Michael was glad he participated in the BMI’s Engineering Challenge. “It was interesting learning everything that goes into building a ship, and we didn’t even scratch the surface… It was a good learning experience, especially if you want to have a career in naval architecture or study it in college.”

To preserve Baltimore’s legacy of industry, we must inspire the next generation, who are just as industrious, innovative, and dedicated as you to doing the things that turn our great city into something greater.

Like Michael, you are a part of the Baltimore story. We depend on your continued support so that the BMI will always be a place where you can remember, connect, and be inspired.

Michael has already formed a team to compete in the 2022 Cargo Ship Challenge. Join all of us at the BMI in cheering him on.

The BMI needs your help NOW to preserve Baltimore’s industrial heritage. Whatever you choose to give, know that YOUR donation is essential to the BMI and to preserving and sharing Baltimore’s industrial story.

Many thanks to our sponsors for supporting the BMI’s Maryland Engineering Challenges and for inspiring the next generation of engineers, like Michael.

BD Diagnostics | BGE-an Exelon Company | The Engineering Society of Baltimore | KELVIN | Northrop Grumman | W.R. Grace 
Michael Hinkey and Kathryn Benson | The Propeller Club of Baltimore | NAVSEA at Carderock

Supported by:
Technology & Engineering Educators Association of Maryland


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