GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Students and faculty from Old Saybrook High School visited Submarine Base New London May 10 to tour Virginia-class attack submarine USS Virginia (SSN 774) and Naval Submarine School as part of research and planning process to build their own submersible vessel.
Upon completion, the students plan to build and race their manned, 11-foot submersible at the 11th Annual International Submarine Races held in Bethesda, Md. in June 2011.
"While we got to have some fun, I believe the lesson I learned today is that teamwork is the big key, but, we also need to further develop ways to stop flooding," said Shannon Jorgensen, student team captain.
According to project coordinator Fred Frese, the school's wood shop teacher, Old Saybrook received an invitation after working closely with the Navy on a previous project.
"We are one of three engineering schools in the country invited to this event," said Frese.
Frese also said the students will be training to race even as the vessel is under construction.
"This is their senior project. They all volunteered to undertake this task," Frese said. "Not only will they do all the construction, but they will write a report and give a presentation at the competition."
Lt. Cmdr. Thomas O'Donnell, Virginia's engineering officer, examined a scale model of the project and a drawing of the internal components brought by Frese.
"This is just amazing," O'Donnell said. "I'm a submariner and a diver, but I'm not sure I would be up to the task of driving this vessel."
Frese recently completed a four-year project with a previous class. They built a full-size replica of the world's first combat submarine, known as the Turtle, invented by David Bushnell.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.