On Tuesday July 2, four student teams tested their boat building skills as participants in Honolulu Community College’s Construction Academy summer program. They raced their newly constructed 7-foot boats in the Kalihi channel.
Fifty-two high school students entering grades 10–12 and recent 2013 graduates from 16 Oʻahu high schools were admitted to Honolulu CC for the five-week summer program. First-time students were exposed to different trades—carpentry, welding, sheet metal, plumbing, electrical—as well as architectural, engineering and CAD technologies.
Returning summer program students had a chance to apply their previously learned skills in the Small Vessel Fabrication and Repair Program.
“Many young people don’t have opportunities to work with their hands,” said Mark Keala Kimura, small vessel fabrication instructor. “These students learned about fiberglass composites, composite boat construction, marine woodworking and joinery, boatyard operation skills and the component systems found on most boats.”
The Construction Academy summer program started with 12 students in 2008 and has grown over its seven-year existence. The summer experience is an extension of the Construction Academy that is in approximately 30 high schools across the state during the academic year filling the gap of industrial education in the public schools.
“These students learned how to work as a team to properly handle tools and operate heavy machinery to construct a boat in five weeks out of two sheets of plywood, some lumber and a blue print,” Kimura said. “They should feel very proud of their final product.”
View Construction Academy summer program photos.
For more, read the Honolulu Community College news release.