“To the Delaware!” calls Imran Hassen from the bow of a boat he helped construct in the Building Futures boat building workshop. Imran is just one of many students from across St. Louis who gathered for one of Building Futures’ summer programs that combine hands-on-experiences with STEM learning.
This summer, with the help of their instructor Jay Reeves, Imran and his classmates learned the science involved in creating something that will float while holding passengers, the math required to make it the right dimensions, and how to use power tools. All while working cooperatively with others.
The students worked hard all week to create their boat, and by Friday they couldn’t wait to see if it would float.
The boat they built, as well as a two boats from the two previous years, were launched at Forest Park Grand Basin at the foot of Art Hill on July 15th. The launch was considered a huge success!
Reeves had the idea to create a class around boat building a few years ago, so he took a class with boat builder in Maine who had created a curriculum which combines STEM activities with hands-on work. Then he brought what he learned to his students at Building Better Futures.
Reeves explained that the exercise includes a discussion of design possibilities and making and testing prototypes. “This boat is a learning tool, a teaching tool and its a wooden boat that the kids get to build themselves. Our camp starts Monday with a stack of boards, and on Friday here we are launching.”