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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
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August 21, 2003     The Columbia Star
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August 21, 2003
 

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N E W S P A P E R S I N C E 1 9 6 3 of that You took? win you I II See page 13 SOUTH Alan e!so d Wesley Drive COLUMBIA SC 29204 CAROLINA TheColumbiaStar, com A u c- u s r 2 1 . 2003 Page 5 to n 12 | n I Fr0nt isun Last Thursday evening, August 14, at EdVenture, Mayor Coble and the River Alliance had a groundbreaking ceremony for the Columbia Canal Front. Shown here connecting Gervais and Washington Streets along the east bank of the Columbia Canal, Canal Front's total cost is $7.1 million. It will be funded by tax increment bond financing and other city funds. Construction is scheduled to start this March and completion should be a year later. Also illustrated here, both the EdVenture Museum ($19 million) and the State Museum parking deck ($3.4 million) are to be finished by November. Read about local business and politics See pages 4 and 5 Teens turn trash into transpOrtation dies 11 19 Mills Snell (14), Jordan Floyd (11), Moultrie Ball (14), and Whit Floyd (14) What do you get when you mix four boys, a foldable chair, and some junk yard parts? A unique invention and a great summer project. Jordan and Whit Floyd, Moultrie Ball, and Mills Snell spent about three weeks this summer creating what could best be described as a lawn mower scooter, what is even more amazing is it cost no money to build. The main parts came from a neighbor's dis- carded scooter. The base originated from a junk yard lawn mower, and the seat is a foldable chair they found around the house. This is the second version of their contraption. The first version had no engine at all. Not unlike many young engineers, they combed their houses for useful parts. The first attempt at motorizing the machine utilized a Natasha Whirling weed whacker engine borrowed from Jordan and whii:'s mother, Sophia. "I think finding the junk yard was a great thing," she says jokingly. Their "work- shop" is the Floyd's screened in porch where they have dissected motor parts and spread tools across the floor. Most of the tools belong to their father, the late Bill Floyd who passed away two years ago. "He would have been very proud of the boys," Sophia says. The boys clocked their creation at 23 miles per hour, and until a few days ago, it did not have a braking mechanism. The boys fashioned the brake out of scooter parts, some wood, and fishing wire which also holds the engine on the frame. "Before it had a brake you had to use your foot like Fred Flintstone. You had to have good shoes on," says whit. These young men have always enjoyed building things. They have constructed sever- al tree houses, some of which weren't as suc- cessful as the lawn mower scooter. "Some of them look really bad, but we are working on it," says Jordan. The boys plan to keep tinkering with their invention. "It is an on-going process," says Mills. One of their dreams is to eventually build a go-cart. "They are really active kids. You won't find them in the house a lot," says Sophia. In addi- tion to building things, they all enjoy various sports such as baseball, soccer, and hockey. Whit, Moultrie, and Mills are all 14 years old and have started their freshman year at A.C. Flora High School. Whit's younger brother Jordan, age 11, attends Crayton Middle School. Although their sports' interests may vary, they are unan- imous in their interest in engineering as a future career. "It would be real- ly cool to be able to work on engines," says Moultrie. This project should at least win them a rib- bon at the school science fair, and with their inge- nuity and creativity these boys are bound to go far.