Youth#039;s love of physics takes flight

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

CHESAPEAKE - Joseph Galloway is a man of science - well, physics to be exact.

That love of science, coupled with a love of flight, led to the creation of his sixth-grade science fair project - a hovercraft.

Galloway built his hovercraft out of materials many people would have around the house: A light switch, leaf blower, extension cord, a Tupperware lid, some bolts, nuts and screws and a little wood.

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&#8220I just thought I could make something relative to my interests that I could enjoy at home,” Galloway said of his project.

The hovercraft, Galloway said, can carry people around as it glides on a thin layer of air. In his project, he began by ramming it against the wall to prove Newton's Law: An object at rest stays at rest. Galloway said ramming it into the wall three times in a row gave him a bit of a jolt. Later that evening, he went the entire length of the gymnasium.

&#8220The principal even rode on it,” he said.

Galloway's fascination with fight is not a new thing, however. It has been something he has studied for quite some time, although this was his first time creating a hovercraft.

&#8220Ever since I was about five, I've been totally interested in physics and flying,” he said. &#8220I have about five books and inch or so thick all about flying.”

The project also was a family affair since Galloway's family helped out and supported him through the entire process.

His father supervised the use of the power tools, mother brought the spray paint and helped paint it silver and his baby sister rode on it - but Galloway said his baby brother thought it was too loud.

Galloway said it took from Oct. 2 until Nov. 13 to complete the hovercraft - as they worked on the project only on the weekends.

&#8220It was a great project for me and my dad,” he said. &#8220We spent a lot of time together.”

He said he was surprised when they came to the gym to see the judging and saw the first place ribbon on his project. Galloway's project &#8220How's a Hovercraft Fly?” placed first in the sixth-grade division of the science fair at Chesapeake Middle School.

&#8220I had a great time doing it,” he said. &#8220And now I'm probably going to up it to two gas motors and go down the street.”