PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One local summer camp is giving girls the opportunity to build a boat — and those involved quickly learned it’s not just about learning how to use power tools.
“You don’t drill random stuff, you have to take a ruler and figure out where you have to drill and saw and stuff like that,” incoming 5th grader Nandita Kumar said.
The girls learned there’s a lot of math involved when it comes to building a boat.
“We are really passionate about letting girls know this is open to them, an opportunity that exists and is in the real of possibility if they choose that path,” Girls Inc. program manager Grace Dyer said.
According to Dyer, only 19% of engineering degrees are earned by women. Programs like this one hope to change that.
“We spend a lot of time ramping up their math skills early on,” Wind and Oar Boat School director Peter Crim said. “Fractions and all the stuff they’d have to do to build a boat isn’t something that comes to people naturally that they carry around with them.”
The girls who spent a part of their summer constructing the boat from scratch said the building process also helped boost their life skills and confidence.
“It’s just important for girls to get out there and do what they want to do and be themselves,” Hazel Curley O’Malley with Girls Inc. said.
The girls hope to launch their handmade boat into the Willamette and take turns rowing in about a week.