Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Proud Day...

Yet another diversion from ongoing Dark Secret stuff.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the launching of a new 13' wooden skiff. It was built by the Engineering Club at St. John's Prep, in DAnvers, MA. The project was led by Marcus Soule, Physics teacher. What a great day. It was a raw and blustery March day, but spirits were high.

I am a passionate proponent of the value of a hands-on project like this in the educational experience. Aside from the math, science, history, and other curriculum related subject matter, there are also societal skills that can't be taught in any way other than by being part of a group involved in a challenge - teamwork, accountability, work ethic, and perseverance are just a few of the things that seem to have fallen through the cracks in the current educational system. Every step of the way, a boat builder uses the known to determine the unknown. It's like a giant geometry proof. Kudos to the entire team for doing such a nice job and meeting their deadline.

The boat is "Sissy Do," by Glen L. Here is a link to the designer's study plan:

Marcus contacted me and Tom Perkins at Wise Marine prior to the start of the build, and he picked our brains a few times during the process. As a result of this contact, we are happy to be involved in another St. John's Prep course offering - Summer Boat Building. The three of us (Marcus, Tom, and I) will be instructing amateurs in the building of a small fleet of "Cartoppers" designed by the late, great Philip C. Bolger. Choosing the appropriate boat for the course was something of a process. I'll cover that process, and the design in detail at my other blog:

Here is a link to the summer course(near the bottom of the list):

Herre is a link for info on Cartopper: