This week on Wednesday, October 5, we had our first meeting of the Girls’ Boat Project program for this season! With eight students and two instructors, we are stoked to spend time getting to know each other and do some woodworking in the NWMC Boatshop.
In the Girls’ Boat Project, middle school girls learn woodworking and boatbuilding techniques in our Boatshop as they work on their own projects and as a team to build a boat! The program is led by women role models from our Northwest Maritime Center staff who are skilled in woodworking, boat maintenance, and other maritime skills. This year our instructors are Ginny Wilson and Taylor Austin.
Women and girls’ programs at Northwest Maritime Center welcome those who identify as women and girls regardless of assignment at birth. These programs also welcome people who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming and want to be in a female-centered environment.
For our first week meeting, we met in the upstairs Discovery classroom and had snacks—yummy carrots, rainbow goldfish, and almond butter & Nutella—and got to know each other with an icebreaker question: “If you could arrive anywhere in the world by boat, where would you go?” Answers included Hawaii, Iceland, Indonesia, Cape Cod, Norway, and the Caribbean. We also talked about some core values we want to establish and uphold in creating our group space. It was collectively important for everyone to create a space where we respect when others are speaking, personal space, kindness, and to celebrate our differences.
After a break time out on the commons to enjoy some sunshine and a view of the bay, we headed into the Boatshop to talk about shop safety and have a tool introduction. We will be using various hand tools in building our individual tool trays and boat, so it was really fun to jump in on the first meeting and get acquainted with some of those tools on scrap wood. Stay tuned to see what we get into next week!
Girls’ Boat Project meets on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:30 PM. Enrollment is full for this session but keep your ears open for more opportunities.