PBL With A Boat?

In the fall, I purchased a 14′ aluminum fishing boat. It was a simple, sturdy, and unimpressive vessel that needed some of my personality on it. When thinking of plans for how to customize my new boat, I knew that some of my students would love to get in on it. I decided to enlist a group of students from Graphic Design, Automotive, and Construction in a cross-curricular project and give this boat a facelift.

I first approached the Graphic Design students and told them I wanted my boat customized and matched to my personality. Just as they would in a career, we had a meeting about my interests and likes, went over design ideas, came up with a timeline, and the pitch date. Weeks later, a number of design ideas were pitched. I liked two so we decided to combine the designs.

By the early spring, the boat was on campus. The Auotmotive and Construction instructors and their students then met with me. We discussed and designed a custom deck, chair installation, and painting.

By June the boat (or “yacht” as my Automotive students joked) was ready. She was beautiful. It was a truly cross-curricular project that taught all of us something about patience and production.

Author: Michael Parent, Ed.D

Father, husband, school administrator in NJ. "Education cures poverty".

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