A technology school is teaching math concepts with boats, through an innovative marine technology program.
At the Center of Applied Technology South, students from five high schools in the area surrounding Edgewater, Maryland, are l;earning to repair, maintain, and build boats. They are in the school’s Marine Service Technology Program, and are helping volunteer Joe Youcha make an old sail boat ready to sail again. Youcha explained concepts of geometry the students need to apply to their work.
As they looked at the stern of a 34 foot double ended ketch, he asked Josh Minker what it means to have something the same on both sides of a line. He explained to Minker that it means the pieces are symmetrical.
They had already cut two pieces of cardboard to be the same exact size, that would be later replaced with wood.
“You lay them right on top of one another and they’re the same, that’s the definition of congruent,” Youcha said.
A variety of skills that students need in the marine trade are touched upon in the program. These include boat building, carpentry, engine repair, hull repair, work on electrical systems, spray painting and refinishing.
“Any one of those directions is a career path. A kid may like wiring boats, that can be a whole successful career. A kid may be really good at marine finishes. They can certainly work the rest of their lives doing high-end marine finishes,” said course instructor David Fawley.