BAILEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Every month during the school year, CBS4, along with Colorado School of Mine and PDC Energy, honors a high school student who is excelling in science, technology, engineering or math, STEM. The winner gets $1,000 and a profile on CBS4 News. February’s winner is Amy Bezzant, who is a junior at Platte Canyon High School.

(credit CBS)

Bezzant plays basketball and volleyball, but it’s her work with the Platte Canyon High School Yacht Club that is awe inspiring. In June of 2019, 18 students, teachers, and parents embarked on a boat race.

“It was exciting, “  Bezzant said.

Racing a boat in the Seventy48 Race in Washington State is the end of a journey that started in a classroom turned workshop at Platte Canyon High School.

“We built a boat, a trimaran canoe,” Bezzant explained.

(credit CBS)

The team built it from scratch, learning about design, engineering, and technology.

“It was a lot of math and everything, so we had to measure everything correctly. It was a lot of getting things really precise,” Bezzant said.

“So for one of your STEM classes, you had to build this solar powered charger, tell me about that,” asked CBS4’s Ashton Altieri.

“So the solar panel connected to a battery which then was connected to a circuit board that had all of the USB’s and everything,” Bezzant told CBS4. “It was specifically designed so that we could keep our navigation and phones charged.”

(credit Amy Bezzant)

For 17-hours and 43-minutes, the team paddled up the Puget Sound, sometimes with a dolphin escort.

“It was an interesting experience. It really tests your endurance and your stamina,”  Bezzant said.

The team came in 23rd out of 166 entrants. They were the first student team in the Seventy48 race.

(credit Platte Canyon Yacht Club)

“It was a lot of fun. I really got close to the other people on the team, and learned a lot about myself too,”  Bezzant said.

Now she and the Yacht Club are back work building a new boat, with new designs, and an eye toward first place.

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