School Partnerships

Man with boat.

Applying Skills, Building Confidence

Our work with area schools is at the heart of Compass Project. Through collaborative programs, Compass Project hosts students and teachers in our shop during the school day, throughout the academic year. Through a variety of program options, students who are often challenged by the traditional classroom setting, learn and strengthen math, science and English language skills.

The Compass Project curriculum is a set of learning objectives that helps instructors, volunteers and teachers provide a project-, relationship-, and strengths-based educational experience for students.

In Compass Project boat building programs, students will develop and apply…

  • Appropriate risk-taking behaviors and responses to obstacles and failure.
  • Problem solving and critical thinking skills in short- and long-term projects.
  • Communication skills: following directions; working with teammates; using appropriate language; expressing learning.
  • Self-reflection skills: taking responsibility for actions and reactions and evaluating and celebrating learning.
  • Resiliency skills: patience, perseverance, self-confidence, self-assurance.
  • A boat building skill set: safe and appropriate use of tools, vocabulary and process; applied Math; familiarity with workplace and community expectations; integration of classroom content where appropriate.

To create a safe community in which we work, learn, and celebrate our individuality and roles as members of a team, Compass Project staff, volunteers and students value…

  • Respect for others/Respect for ourselves
  • Patience
  • A focus on solutions rather than problems
  • A willingness to take risks
  • Prompt and direct conflict resolution
  • Full engagement
  • Honesty
  • Empathy

In addition to these learning goals and values, Compass Project works with sending schools to develop a “hard skills” curriculum for each class. By engaging in the boat building process with staff and volunteers, students can learn, practice, and apply STEM skills.  They experience the scientific process in a real-world way that reinforces classroom learning and prepares them for jobs in a variety of fields. In the boat shop students put math to work following plans, using tools and materials, and solving problems as they arise. ELL students can acquire and use new vocabulary and practice listening and speaking skills, gaining confidence in their ability to contribute to the team. Projects are individualized to challenge students at an age and developmentally appropriate level. Compass Project staff works with sending school teachers to ensure that students are learning relevant content; lesson plans are tied to the Common Core Standards.

Traditionally, Compass Project offers boat building courses to schools on a year-long and semester-long basis. For schools that have flexible scheduling, we also offer intensive one-week sessions.We are happy to work with schools to customize programs to best meet their students’ needs. If interested in sending students from your school to Compass Project, please contact us.

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