Boatbuilding Program

The Boatbuilding Program is a unique initiative by Project U.S.E. that is presented through a long-term, on-site relationship with participating schools and agencies. Students of middle- or high-school age explore the maritime history of their region and learn the science and art involved in boat building. The Program combines standard curricula, (math, physics, history, etc.) with rigorous and exciting experiential learning—a hallmark of Project U.S.E.’s programs. The Program culminates in the building and launching of wooden canoes or sailboats constructed by the students.


“The best part of Boat Building was getting to use power tools. In my opinion, this was very interesting because it has really inspired me to build things with my own two hands instead of buying everything at the store. I mean, really, when would you ever get a chance to tell someone I was using a jigsaw at school, if it wasn’t for this special hands-on project?! Another thing that was very interesting was learning about the history of boats all over the world.”

—Barbara DaSilva, 8th grade, Ann Street School

Project U.S.E. Boatbuilding Program for Teens

Michael Bagley Photography

Participating Schools
Ann Street School, Newark, NJ
Discovery Charter School, Newark, NJ
Hope Academy Charter School, Asbury Park, NJ
Link Community School, Newark, NJ
Big Picture Schools, Newark, NJ
Newark Collegiate Academy, Newark, NJ
North Star Academy Charter School, Newark, NJ
Sussex Avenue School, Newark, NJ
University Heights Charter School, Newark, NJ

Sponsors
This program is made possible by the generous gifts of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Victoria Foundation.

Seeking a Boatbuilding Program For Your School or Camp?
For more information please contact Boatbuilding Coordinator, Lisa Ludwig:
lludwig@projectuse.org | (973) 645-0080

Boatbuilding Videos

Video Created by NJN TV | Visit the Project U.S.E. You Tube Channel

Video Created by William H. Brown Academy | Visit the Project U.S.E. You Tube Channel

“The best part of Boat Building was when we got past all the puzzles and worksheets and started actually building the boat. I liked putting all the pieces of plywood together and seeing the bits of wood transform into a boat. I still remember all the materials against the class wall but today I see a beautifully crafted boat. It’s wonderful to think back and actually say, “I built a boat!” because I never thought I would be able to do this. Working with Project U.S.E. was a great opportunity!”

—Sofia Ribeiro, 8th grade, Ann Street School

“The best part of Boat Building was getting to know each other a little better. Even though I knew my classmates for years, I was never able to really learn about them. I got closer to people while working through this project, and was able to create new friendships.”

—Claudia Sa, 8th grade, Ann Street School

“The most challenging part of Boat Building was getting all the math down packed [sic]. It wasn’t necessarily impossible, but it definitely required a lot of focus and dedication. Then again without all the academics, this project couldn’t have been accomplished PROPERLY.”

—Barbara DaSilva, 8th grade, Ann Street School

“The best part of Boat Building was actually helping each other building the boat, to support each other during the building process, and to acknowledge good work when you see it.”

—Darrell Real, 8th grade, Ann Street School