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Maine Maritime Academy and Coastal CTE Schools Build Diesel Technology Network

In early August, coastal Maine CTE schools got a tremendous boost due to the generosity of Maine Maritime Academy. The Midcoast School of Technology and Waldo County Technical Center instructors traveled to Castine to meet with members of the Marine Power Technology faculty to receive a donation of 10 Westerbeke and Perkins marinized diesel engines. These four-cylinder, marinized, closed cooling system, compact diesel engines were commonly found in mid-size sailboats in the 1970s and ’80s. They are rated at just under 50 horsepower.

This new influx of machinery is important as standards in Career and Technical Education (CTE) are grouped in different areas. For instance, the diesel mechanic standards include learning about final drive gearing and air brakes, while small engine standards are grouped with compact diesel engines. The closed cooling system is configured exactly how larger diesel engines, such as lobster boat powerplants, are designed and operate. The compact size makes them able to be test run in the shops to verify procedures have been performed correctly. This is a feat that isn’t feasible with a 500 plus horsepower engine at a high school facility.

Along with the donated equipment, MMA supplied replacement part stock, repair information documents, and curriculum pieces developed at the Academy. The exchange also seeded a relationship between the instructors at the three schools to promote instructional strategies and lab activities and technical support. This will prove to be mutually beneficial for both secondary and post-secondary institutions as students get to work on a college level and gain the confidence they may need. In addition, there is still a rich opportunity at MMA for high school students to move on to as they have just upgraded to Yanmar computer-controlled compact marine diesel engines for training.

Maine CTE students, the future tradespeople of Maine are thankful for the generosity and outreach of Maine Maritime Academy!

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