The anchors weigh! Students travel to the lake in boats they made | Education

It all started six to eight months ago, when high school students received a pile of wood at the Buffalo Maritime Center’s Arthur Street headquarters.

Since then, working under the direction of master shipbuilders and mentors, approximately 35 students from four schools have learned to use power drills, table saws, band saws and hand tools at the Buffalo Maritime Center, transforming the pile of wood into boats.

And on Tuesday, they went to Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park to launch the boats they made.

Students paddle in one of the skiffs during the Buffalo Maritime Center’s annual high school construction program launch at Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

Despite nervous laughter and jokes about boats sinking or running away, all the six-hour canoes and Olmsted skiffs floated as the students paddled around the lake.

The practical boat building program gave direction to Cyrus Padilla. The Maritime Charter High School student built his first boat last year, and he returned to the program this year to help his fellow students.

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“When we first took it out, as soon as we slid it in, I was like, ‘Is this really going to float? ‘ said Cyrus.

He said last year he didn’t know what he wanted to do after high school.

“But once I got in there and got my hands dirty, I found that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Cyrus said, adding that he wanted to get into carpentry.

Lake Hoyt Boat Launch

Ethan Antone, a senior at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, holds his breath as he receives a push from the dock from Buffalo Maritime Center founder and trustee John Montague during the annual construction program launch of high schools at the Buffalo Maritime Center in Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

Building a boat was Ethan Antone’s first attempt at building anything.

“It should probably be good,” Ethan, a senior at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, said before the launch. “I hope it doesn’t go down.”

Ethan said he wanted to make his own boat, “since I know how to make boats”.

“The bottom line in building a boat is that you have to build it correctly for it to float, so it’s a litmus test,” said Maritime master builder Roger Allen. “When they got in that boat, not only did they build the boat and they know they can build a boat, but they have the whole world from there.”

Students from Western New York Maritime Charter School, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Lafayette International High School and Riverside Academy traveled to Buffalo Maritime Center twice a week, using science, technology , engineering and mathematics to produce the boats.

Lake Hoyt Boat Launch

Luis Velasquez, a 11th grade student at Lafayette International High School, rows with classmates Salmari Camacho (left) and Karim Esoma and Husein Kasikile (right) during the annual high school building program launch from the Buffalo Maritime Center in Hoyt Lake, Delaware Park on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Derek Gee/Buffalo News

The skiffs will be part of the livery of the boats that are for rent at Hoyt Lake, and the canoes will be given to each school.

“The problem solving required to build one of these boats will take you far beyond building the boat,” said Brian Trzeciak, executive director of the Buffalo Maritime Center. “They learn to work as a team and gain confidence.”

Some of the students haven’t been on the water much, said John Montague, founder of the Buffalo Maritime Center.

“So it’s really quite an exciting moment. And suddenly you realize ‘I’m floating, I’m staying alive. I’m not drowning because I’m in an object that I built,'” he said.

In addition to the hand-to-hand program, the Maritime Center also has a “boatmobile”, a mobile mini-workshop with all the tools needed to build a boat to bring boat building to those who cannot. not go to the center.

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