Throughout the winter and spring of 2017, instructors from Urban Boat Builders have been working with Edina middle school students on building a 15-foot canoe. They met after school in the Edina Community Center's community woodshop, in a class offered by Edina Community Education and made affordable for all with support from Edina Give and Go.
The students participated in all aspects of boat building. By far, their favorite part of the boat building process was soaking, steaming and bending the wood pieces that formed the frame of the boat. "It was so cool," said one student. "Actually, it was hot. We had to wear gloves."
The process wasn't always easy. Students had many opportunities to put their science, engineering and math problem-solving skills to the test. They also had to dig deep and learn about teamwork and perserverance: "There is a surprising amount of sewing in boat building," one participant said.
But they stuck with it, and earlier this week, students successfully launched their boat at Lake Calhoun and took a paddle under the bridge and over to Lake of the Isles. It was the first time in a canoe for several of the students. Click here to see more photos.