Successfully Navigating STEM in New York Harbor

Jun 23, 2015 7:00 PM ET

By Karen La Cava, Director of Community Investment

In our continuing efforts to help young people make the connection between STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills and life skills through fun, exciting and unusual experiences, this past year Time Warner Cable sponsored a STEM program with Brooklyn Boatworks (BBW). Working with NYC schools, BBW helps young people develop life skills through the building and use of small boats. Their programs teach communication, teamwork, perseverance and craftsmanship, and help young people create a strong connection to their urban environment. Students learn STEM skills (measuring, reading plans, construction, project management) and critical soft skills (communication, leadership, teamwork) that open new areas of opportunity and career possibilities for them.

Sixty students in five programs in Brooklyn and Queens participated in the program. With no prior woodworking experience, each cohort worked together weekly to turn four sheets of plywood into a beautiful sea-worthy boat. Throughout the school-year students learned tool safety, how to read design plans, how to build boat models, sawing, drilling and gluing. All the work culminated on June 10th, when after months of learning, BBW middle school students launched and sailed their Optimist prams, 7’ 6” wooden sailboats in NY Harbor for the first time during their annual Spring Launch celebration.

On that beautiful day in Brooklyn, Time Warner Cable employee volunteers arrived early at the Pier to help move the handmade boats to the launch area and assist BBW with setting up for the day. Once the students came, they were given Brooklyn Boatworks shirts and attended a graduation ceremony where Community Investment Specialist Maryanne Ravenel, spoke on Time Warner Cable’s behalf.

After the first boat launched, Time Warner Cable volunteers helped with documenting the students’ experiences, assisting them with learning how to tie nautical knots, and creating school branded sails.

Karen La Cava
+1 (212) 379-5158 
Time Warner Cable