BMC’s Hand to Hand Program

Designed for middle and high school students, our Hand to Hand Program uses wooden boat building as a teaching tool to inspire, to educate, and to provide an opportunity to students who might see working with their hands as alternative pathway to financial security and a successful life.

Throughout their time with us, BMC Hand to Hand students . . .

  • discover new pathways to broader learning
  • experience the real-life application and usefulness of math, science, engineering, design and technical applications, safety awareness, and social and emotional skills
  • come to understand the dignity and joy in meaningful work with their hands by building something fun and useful that must be built right!

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 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. An experienced boat builder 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 boat building program or to become a mentor for high school students, please contact Brian Trzeciak, BMC Executive Director, at 716.881.0111 or