One of the great things about Maker Faire is the opportunity to meet clever people and their fascinating projects. Often you have a conversation with a person who is highly skilled in an area you have never really considered before. This was the case when I met up with Jerry Etheridge of the North Texas Battle Group.
The idea behind the battles is that each ship is a 1:144 scale model of ships built prior to 1945. The hulls are made of balsa sheet, and each ship is armed with a CO2 powered gun firing ball bearings at each other. You fire onto the other ship until somebody gets wet. Since they run in fresh water, they don’t worry too much about motors and other electronics getting damaged. When you sink, somebody rows out and grabs your superstructure and recovers the vessel, you patch up your holes, and go out to battle again.
The North Texas Battle Group has a wealth of information on their site. You may find that there is a group doing similar work near you. There seems to be a decent collection of battle ship videos on Youtube.
Has somebody sunk your battleship? Have you built, battled or seen a battle in miniature? How can you use your students’ and your maker skills to help understand other subjects like history, science, language, math or art and music? Add your ideas to the comments, and contribute your photos and video to the Make Flickr pool.