Boston Family BoatBuilding brings real world experiences and academic skills together to excite students about learning. We offer a year-round schedule of experiential learning opportunities. In the Fall we go sailing. Students learn how to chart a course and find their location while on the water to practice basic map and compass reading skills. In the Winter we build boats. Students learn math by drawing a boat full size on the floor from a scale drawing. Building the boat builds critical spatial thinking skills as we use the two-dimensional drawing to create a three-dimensional object. In the Spring we interview descendants of African Americans who were involved in the maritime industry as part of an oral history project. Oral history interviews and primary source research provide engaging material for reading and writing assignments. In the summer we build boats with families to continue our effort to provide students and their families with new learning opportunities.
We offer these Fall, Winter and Spring activities to Boston Public Schools. A single classroom is broken up into teams of 5-6 students. These teams stay together for the entire year. Each team leaves the school and classroom for 5 days in the Fall and Spring. In the Winter each team builds a small flat iron skiff. The project staff and classroom teacher work together to integrate the learning experiences into the regular classroom work.
The field research/experiential learning projects are organized and developed by Boston Family BoatBuilding staff person John Rowse. John is a Mass. certified teacher 1-6 and an USCG Licensed Captain.
For a good description of the program in action check out a recent feature about us on NECN TV.
We were also featured on NECN’s final show about the“State of Education in Massachusetts”as an example of the kind of program that is needed to support kids to succeed. We are at the beginning and end of this clip with another program spliced between.