Searsport Students’ Boat Building Efforts Were Seaworthy

Caitlin Burchill

Updated 11 months ago

The water was calm at the Searsport town dock, but some students’ nerves were wavy.”I’m afraid that its not going to float,” said Kelsie, a 10th grade student who helped build a pair of brand new Shellback dinghies as part of a semester long science and math course at Searsport District High SchoolOthers were a bit more positive.”I’m pretty confident, not being a little narcissistic, but seeing as how I helped build it I’m pretty sure it’s going to float,” said her classmate Anthony. And float they did. After a semester of hard work, students, with the help of a master boat builder and a handful of volunteers, built the boats at the Penobscot Marine Museum.”The students are amazed that they can take a pile of lumber that’s where we start to come out with something that looks like this in the end. This program has been designed to be a practical lab in math and science, but its a whole lot more than that,” said Greg Rossel, master boat builder and an instructor of the course. “It’s pretty cool building a boat and all working together as a team and learning a whole bunch of stuff along the way,” said Ali, another sophomore in the class. Lessons they can take with them in their future travels.”Remembering that we all built it and put it together. It’s really cool,” said Alexis, another student. “That sense of accomplishment that they actually built these boats that will be sold. The profits from the boats help fund the following year’s program. It’s really important to this school and this community,” said Searsport High School science teacher Michelle Colbry. Especially one that was built on boats.”At one time, ten percent of all the sea captains in America lived in Searsport,” said Rossel. “It makes us feel very proud that it will continue and hopefully just be part of the history of the town and just continue forever,” said Madelene Keniston, a grandmother of one of the students.


MENU