Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Rising Tide After-School program

(ST. MICHAELS, MD) With its pilot program now complete and first full session underway, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s new Rising Tide after-school program is teaching a group of middle school students basic woodworking, boatbuilding, and related safety skills on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons on an annual basis. The current session runs now through June.

CBMM RisingTide BuildingToolbox

CBMM RisingTide BuildingToolbox

Talbot County middle school students are completing a series of projects, including building a toolbox, learning shop safety, and basic tool use. The finished toolboxes will be owned and used by the students as they progress through the program, with students having the incentive to earn their own tools through continued participation.

“Our program teaches in a welcoming, relaxed environment,” said CBMM Shipwright Educator Matthew Engel, who leads the program. “The program inspires

participants-through to the 12th grade-to develop a sense of self-confidence and pride, while providing guidance and support. Ultimately, we want to prepare students in an engaging and academic way to support their long-term success, especially during these crucial years of development.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide boatshop program began in November, 2015 as a pilot initiative in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake. The program began with a six-week after-school boatbuilding

session offered to Talbot County 6th grade students. The ongoing sessions have limited participation, with the YMCA of the Chesapeake generously offering transportation to and from the program from its Easton location for YMCA and non-YMCA members.

Running from March through early June, students will be offered the opportunity to utilize all they learn on woodworking in the boatyard to build a railbird skiff under the guidance of CBMM’s shipwrights and volunteers. These classes will include on-the-water sessions in boater safety and proper handling along with navigational skills. The finished skiff will remain waterside at CBMM for the students to take out on the Miles River on subsequent visits.

“It’s inspiring to watch these young men and women master skills and embrace math in new, engaging ways as they progress through the program,” commented Engel. “From learning how to use fractions to mastering the use of a plane or band saw, they’ll leave the program having built something, and with skills and confidence that will help shape each participant’s future success.”

“Thanks to the philanthropic support funding this program, we are really making a huge difference in the lives of our youth,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Whether on a college or vocational track, these students will have a better chance of succeeding having gained the skills this program delivers in mathematics, engineering, team building, and project management, not to mention the confidence as skills become mastered.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide after-school program is currently made possible by the Wallace Genetic Foundation; major support is provided by the Bryan Brothers Building Dreams for Youth

Foundation, and Dock Street Foundation; with additional generous support provided by Penny and John Albertine, Martha and Alfred Sikes, Ellen and Richard Bodorff, and Wiley Rein LLP.

New students wishing to participate in the program are encouraged to register for a March 22-23 orientation at CBMM by contacting Matt Engel at [email protected] For more information about CBMM’s Rising Tide program, visit