Mainland High School  
WaterGates: ISTF Project #01-0224



ISTF Contest



Component Three

  • Forecast workforce demand (for the next five years) based upon your technical application’s impact to the marketplace.

Our technical application focusing on two-stroke engines pollution avoidance, will impact the workforce demands in the areas of fuel engineering, combustion engine design, and environmental clean-up programs. Specific positions effected may include engineers who are developing propulsion systems, environmental impact engineers, and personal water craft manufacturers. 

Total Retail Value:        $720,176,000
Average Unit Cost:        $7,828

Since the mid-1990s, over 97 percent of  PCWs sold have been sit-down style and the average retail price of a PCW is about $6,700.  On Tuesday, January 29, 2002, a major manufacture, Polaris, released a report stating that during the first quarter of the year 2001 their sales on PWCs were down 1 percent. For the whole year, sales were down 9 percent. Sales have been decreasing in recent years because the units are getting more expensive and are more often repaired than replaced.

"Usage is increasing, but new ski sales have decreased since 1996. The downturn is better for us, we have hired people every year because more people will fix skis or buy used that need repair, rather than spend more money on a new ski, and prices have gone up significantly over the past 4 years, from roughly $6k to over $10k for a new ski." Bryan Glynn (SBT Webmaster).

Due to the amount of people repairing their PWCs rather then replacing them, we have determined that part of our education would be focused on the repair of old PWCs.

The benefits of PWC production and distribution include:

  • Manufacturing and assembly employment in the United States and Canada
  • Employment in more than 2,000 retail businesses which service and sell PWC
  • Aftermarket and related small businesses that manufacture and repair components and accessories
  • Corporate tax revenues from PWC-related businesses local and state sales and gas tax revenues

PWC owners spend more the $300 million annually on such things as the purchase and repair of actual watercraft, boating registration fees, trailers, fuel, insurance, clothing and accessories, as well as travel and water-oriented excursions.

  • Give two examples of an undergraduate or graduate degree program in science or engineering that a student could pursue to become involved in research directly related to the team’s NCT technical application. Be sure to include the URL address of the institution, the department where the program is located and a brief description of the program of study. (We felt it was necessary to examine three undergraduate programs to solidify the varied pre-requisites present in our NCT's technical application of manufacturing and pollution avoidance.)

The following programs would allow a student to become familiar with the technologies, sciences and skills necessary to become involved in the research and development of a better two-stroke engine design, more environmentally safe fuels, and other methods of pollution avoidance. Besides requiring general courses in chemistry, physics, math, biology, and the humanities, each of these programs offers specific courses that would allow a student to become the ideal employee at a company producing our product.

used with permission

The University of Florida: School of Mechanical Engineering

The goal of the mechanical engineering department is to teach students the principles of motion and the processes that convert energy into motion. It also teaches students how to design and build engines and how to design and build machines used to control motion. In addition to taking the fundamental courses in science, math, and the humanities, a student interested in earning a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering could take the following courses to gain the knowledge needed to research and design a two-stroke engine:

  • Mechanical Design
  • Elements of Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
  • Computer Aided Graphics and Design
  • Mechanical Vibrations
  • Combustion Engineering
  • Mechanical Propulsion Systems
  • Energy Conversion

used with permission 

The Colorado School of Mines Chemical Engineering Program

In the chemical engineering program, students learn that the microscopic and molecular level properties effect the macroscopic behavior of materials and chemical systems. Students also gain an understanding of computer aided molecular simulation and learn technical communications skills. The following courses would benefit someone looking for a career involving our technical application:

  • Computational Methods in Chemical Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Petroleum Processes
  • Engineering Economics
  • Transport Phenomena

used with permission

Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Program

The goal of this program is to provide students with the necessary knowledge in chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics, along with the analytical and computational skills to apply this knowledge to the environmental problems caused by human activities, such as the use of personal watercraft. A student interested in researching and developing our product would be interested in the following courses:

  • Environmental Fluid Transport Processes
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean
  • Air Pollution Control: Processes and Controls
  • Wastewater Treatment Engineering
  • Environmental Politics and Policy


  • Give a title and 100-word description for a new science and/or engineering degree program which might emerge given the advancements in scientific knowledge that the team identified.

Environmental Propulsion Systems Engineering

This graduate program will provide students with the knowledge necessary to design and manufacture engines and fuels with environmental integrity. Students with their Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or Environmental Engineering would be best suited for this program. Students should have a strong background in math, physics, chemistry, and environmental sciences  - as well as a working knowledge of  environmental laws and policies.  In addition to the following courses, students will be required to complete a thesis or research project in environmental propulsion systems.

First Year

  • Advanced Fluid Dynamics
  • Environmental Organic Chemistry
  • Information Processing for Engineering Systems
  • Probability and Statistics in Engineering
  • Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation
  • Water Quality Control
  • Limnology and Wetland Ecology
  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Advanced Combustion I
  • Conservation Biology
  • Sustainable Design

Second Year

  • Physiochemical Processing of Materials
  • Advanced Coatings and Surface Engineering
  • Land-Atmosphere Interactions
  • Motion-Based Design
  • Waste Containment and Remediation Technology
  • Nondestructive Evaluation of Materials and Structures
  • Environmental Data Analysis
  • Chemicals in the Environment: Fate and Transport
  • Gas Turbines and Jet Engines
  • Environmental Integration
  • Research Seminar

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