Simley Urban Boatbuilders

Simley Students Begin Their Boat Build
Posted on 04/11/2018
Students work together to measure and cut parts of the kayak frameSimley High School students are building a kayak as well as their STEM skills this year, thanks to an NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grant. Earlier in the year, Simley teacher Colleen Parker applied for the grant so Urban Boatbuilders could help her classes build a kayak. The project and organization presented an opportunity for students to develop critical thinking skills and work on a hands-on project with concrete results.

Students prepared to build their kayak with a few guest speakers, including Navy personnel Mr. Williams, who taught students how to tie different knots, and ISD 199 Director of Community Education Barb Pierce, who presented on water safety so students would be able to safely launch their boat at the end of the unit. Students recently began the build, learning about the tools and vocabulary they would use.

With a little guidance from Urban Boatbuilders staff, students are now making quick progress on the kayak. Not only are they developing building skills, they are also developing social-emotional skills as they collaborate on different tasks and critical thinking skills as they run into different issues with the pieces.

The final product and launch are scheduled for mid-May, but students still have much to do. Besides the mathematics of the project, students will also waterproof the kayak, learning what makes it float and the chemicals that make it waterproof.