Teaching with Small Boats
Introducing math and inspiring students through boatbuilding.
- Joe Youcha —August 5–11
Have you ever wanted to work with young people in your community and schools building boats? Joe Youcha has been doing this type of work for over 25 years. Boatbuilding can teach a wide range of “hard” and “soft” skills and Joe has found that math instruction opens the door to schools and community groups that control access to the kids. To put it in simple terms, the institutions need effective math instruction. And the kids need the math skills, and so much more. Boatbuilding provides a wonderful environment that shows young people they can succeed, they can be productive, and they can have fun learning using math.
This innovative course will cover how to teach and apply math through the process of boatbuilding, but will also help you learn how to identify the needs in your community, how to build partnerships, and how to measure your work. Participants in this course will build a full-sized skiff, learning how mathematics plays in the design and construction, and how to apply math to young builders through the entire project. Boat models will also be built using wood, paper, and aluminum foil. Throughout the week, there will be lots of related “hands-on” math exercises that target particular skills. By the end of the course, you will have a much better idea of what it takes to do this kind of work and how to inspire your students.