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High School Students Race Self-Constructed Boats

Honolulu CC's Construction Academy Summer Program

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Jul 3, 2013

Students finishing their boats.
Students finishing their boats.
2013 Construction Academy Summer Program.
2013 Construction Academy Summer Program.

(Honolulu) - On Tuesday July 2, four teams of three students, tested their boat building skills as participants in Honolulu Community College’s Construction Academy Summer Program, racing their newly constructed 7-foot boats in the Kalihi Channel. 

52 high school students entering grades 10–12 and recent 2013 graduates from 16 O‘ahu high schools were admitted to Honolulu CC for the five-week summer program. First-time students were exposed to five 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 & Repair Program.

“Many young people don’t have opportunities to work with their hands," explains 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. The program was established through a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and continues to operate solely on legislative funding. 

“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 shares. "They should feel very proud of their final product.” 

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