In 2019, Mercy Junior High students hand crafted a 15’ skin-on-frame canoe through the Camping and Education Foundation. This project is a part of the Mercy Erdkinder program where Junior High students develop and run their own businesses. With the help of boat-building instructors, Hugh Haller and Austin Simandl, the students constructed all aspects of the boat. The class utilized science and math concepts, hand tools, and experienced the age-old craft of steam bending wood.
The boat building project facilitates social and emotional learning for youth. Through this hands-on challenge, students have the opportunity to develop their own resilience, perseverance, and collaboration skills while making a functional and beautiful boat.
Our young adults voted to “sell” the boat at Mercy’s Spring Fling auction and donate all of the proceeds to the school’s financial aid program. They felt that part of their business plan is to give back, so why not help someone go to Mercy that maybe couldn’t afford it otherwise.
“The teachers must have the greatest respect for the young personality, realizing that in the soul of the adolescent great values are hidden, and that in the minds of these boys and girls there lies all our hope of future progress.” – From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 112
I learned about steambending and thought that was really cool. We developed valuable leadership skills and worked together as a team. Jonathan, 8th grade