BMC’s Hand-to-Hand Program

The Buffalo Maritime Center’s Hand-to-Hand Program uses wooden boatbuilding as a tool to practice STEM Principles and life skills.

Under the guidance of trained mentors, students learn the value of craftsmanship, communication-skills, safety awareness, teamwork, and they experience the pride and joy of building something with their hands. Throughout their time with us, BMC Hand-to-Hand students . . .

  • Learn real-life applications of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and design principles
  • Understand and display the importance of craftsmanship
  • Properly use hand and power tools and various materials
  • Demonstrate safety awareness, communication-skills, self-confidence, and heightened levels of curiosity
  • Have pride in something that they’ve built with their hands

Course Description

Under supervision from BMC mentors and staff, students begin their education experience building a toolbox. The building process includes marking, measuring, cutting, and the basics of math. The end result is a functional toolbox that the students keep. Students then graduate to work on building a boat. Beginning with a stack of materials, students cut the required pieces to size using supplied patterns and woodworking tools, and then they assemble the boat. Manipulating materials, marking measuring and cutting, sequencing, pattern and jig making, the use of woodworking tools, working in a team that includes adults, and assembly are observable objectives of the class. In each stage of boat building, students learn STEM and design principles through experiential learning. An experienced boatbuilder and affiliated school teachers observe and evaluate activities.

BMC’s Hand-to-Hand program exists because of passionate, dedicated, and committed volunteers. We aim to continue expanding our program so that we reach more students while still retaining the one mentor to three students ratio. Please inquire about a partnership or about becoming a mentor today!

For more information about the Buffalo Maritime Center’s Hand-to-Hand boatbuilding program or to become a mentor for high school students, please contact Brian Trzeciak, BMC Executive Director, at 716.881.0111 or