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Boston students learn about STEM careers through boat building

Two schools and a local non-profit boat building group are teaming up to offer students an innovative way to learn about STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering, and math fields offer higher-paying entry-level opportunities. In Massachusetts, these salaries are twice as high as in other professions. Everyone was on deck for the sixth graders from Harvard Kent Elementary as they put the finishing touches on their handcrafted creation. “Everyone has a set of tools. You have a drill and a screwdriver,” said boat building teacher Alta Tarala. Sikaflex (adhesive), so the more we scrape, the more paintable it can be,” said student Kiara Colon. Harvard Kent is one of two public schools in Boston offering the applied learning experience, made possible by the Massachusetts nonprofit Community Boat Building “It really helps connect these academic disciplines to something exciting, really tangible, they can get their hands on,” said Stockton Reece, executive director of Community Boat Building. The program takes six students and divides them into groups of six. go out and apply what they learned in class to a practical project. “Academics can be so abstract and insignificant to a lot of kids because of the stressors in their lives,” Tarala said. expect 16 boats at the start this school year. Kiara’s group is delighted to stretch their sea legs. “I was on a boat, like I didn’t have to (row). Yeah,” she said. Sixth graders’ boats will be launched twice in June. WCVB United Way 50 Years Fund: click here to donate young people have the resources they need to achieve their educational and career goals. Conceived and supported by WCVB employees, the 50 Years Fund will focus on the cause of our generation – social and economic justice affecting our entire community. donations of $100,000 each to organizations doing the work in cities and towns within the WCVB observation area. The 50 Years Fund is committed to making a substantial impact on services for grantees, to continuing the legacy of WCVB Channel 5 as a community resource, and to bringing about positive change in the lives of the people we serve.

Two schools and a local non-profit boat building group are teaming up to offer students an innovative way to learn about STEM careers.

Science, technology, engineering, and math fields offer higher-paying entry-level opportunities. In Massachusetts, these salaries are twice as high as in other professions.

Everyone was on deck for the sixth graders from Harvard Kent Elementary as they put the finishing touches on their handcrafted creation.

“Everyone has a set of tools. You have a drill and a screwdriver,” said boat building professor Alta Tarala.

The 11 and 12 year olds drilled, sawed, screwed and scraped their 10ft boat from scratch.

“We just scrape off the Sikaflex (adhesive), so the more we scrape off, the more it can be painted over,” said student Kiara Colon.

Harvard Kent is one of two Boston public schools offering the applied learning experience, made possible by the Massachusetts Community Boat Building nonprofit.

“It really helps connect those academic disciplines to something exciting, really tangible they can get their hands on,” said Stockton Reece, executive director of Community Boat Building.

The program takes six students and divides them into groups of six to go out and apply what they learned in class to a hands-on project.

“Academics can be so abstract and insignificant to a lot of kids because of the stressors in their lives,” Tarala said.

The organization expects 16 boats to set sail this school year. Kiara’s group is delighted to stretch their sea legs.

“I was on a boat, like I didn’t have to (row). Yeah, she said.

Sixth graders’ boats will be launched twice in June.

WCVB United Way 50 Fund: Click here to donate

Our 50 Year Fund, powered by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, is designed to ensure young people have the resources they need to achieve their educational and career goals. Conceived and supported by WCVB employees, the 50 Years Fund will focus on the cause of our generation – social and economic justice affecting our entire community.

Thanks to the generosity of our viewers and your support, we intend to award at least 5 “capacity building” grants of $100,000 each to organizations doing the work in cities and towns across the WCVB visualization. The 50 Years Fund is committed to making a substantial impact on services for grantees, to continuing the legacy of WCVB Channel 5 as a community resource, and to bringing about positive change in the lives of the people we serve.

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