Pupils at Sir Christopher Hatton Academy have come up with a clever idea for a simplified gearbox for use on small fishing boats.
The group developed the gearbox as part of their enrichment lessons and the device has been featured in boating magazine Marine Modelling International.
Design technology teacher Neville Marsh said: “With a small budget we purchased an old 12-foot fibreglass hull, which we are fitting with a new industrial engine and a full sized version of our gearbox. Most of the finance for this has come from the model article fees.
“Students found a paper written by Dr Bernard Obeng of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and Professor Alistair Anderson of the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
“The focus of this paper was on the inability of the subsistence fishermen to able to break out of the cycle of poverty. We emailed Dr Obeng with questions about subsistence fishing, their equipment and the conditions they encounter.
“He was so enthusiastic about our project that we decided the first full sized prototype would be sent to them so they could kick start a boat building enterprise.
“The boat should be complete and ready to demonstrate in early March. We have been welcomed to do this at the Middle Nene Sailing Club, where full safety facilities are available.”
The students will be using the proceeds of a follow-up article in Marine Modelling International to pay for the boat’s shipping costs to Ghana.