Hovercraft ISSEA STEM 2018


DESCRIPTION: ISSEA competing schools may have up to two teams, consisting of one or two individuals on each team. Each team must construct a self-propelled, air-levitated vehicle according to the specifications provided in the CONSTRUCTION SPECIFICATION section below. Teams will also be assessed on their design process, data collection and analysis of data as described in separate document “ENGINEERING DESIGN DOCUMENTATION”. The EDD will have two sets of rubrics, one for teams with members less than grade 10 and the other with one or more members in grade 10 or above.



  1. Vehicles may be made of any material and must meet items (b), (i) and (l) or be disqualified. All other specifications not met will result in penalties as described in the PENALTIES section.
  2. The length, width and height of the vehicle must fit inside a 40 cm X 40 cm width X 40 cm box.
  3. A dowel must be attached within 5.0 cm of the front for timing purposes and extend up at least 20 cm above the bottom of the hovercraft.
  4. The mass of the vehicle (including batteries and dowel) must be between 250.0 and 2000.0 grams inclusive. The goal mass of the vehicle being 2,000 grams.
  5. The entire vehicle, including the propeller and any propeller shielding must not extend outside of the vertical planes defined by the inside edge of the side rails of the track.
  6. Commercial batteries, not exceeding 9.0 V as labeled, may be used to energize the motors on the vehicle. Multiple batteries may be connected together as long as the voltage across any points do not exceed 9.0 V as calculated by their labels. The vehicle must not have any other energy sources.
  7. Vehicles must have no more than two motors each rotating one propeller (or “fan”).
  8. Propellers or fans must have a diameter of ≤ 14.0 cm
  9. Propellers or fans must be shielded from direct contact such that the event supervisor is not able to make contact with the propeller with a standard ¼” (0.625 cm) dowel. The supervisor must be able to verify these diameters during impound.
  10. Brushless motors and integrated circuits are not permitted.
  11. The vehicle must be levitated as it moves down the track (inadvertent contact is permitted). Competitors must demonstrate levitation by pushing the vehicle slightly down. If it then rises it is levitated.
  12. Vehicles must have an electric switch to permit safe starting and stopping of the motors. 
  13. Remote control is not permitted.



SCORING: A scoring rubric and checklist will be posted here around the end of February.