Private donor pledges $10,000 to Sumner’s Marine Pathways program

SULLIVAN — A private donor who helped kick-start Sumner Memorial High School’s Marine Pathways program has donated $10,000 to the program this year.

That’s in addition to a $15,000 contribution last year.

The Marine Pathways program ranges from boat building, sailing and marine navigation — including GPS and maps — to a variety of internships.

“We are purchasing kits for students to build their own skiffs,” said Principal Marianne DeRaps. “They also bought kits to learn about the hydraulics of pot (trap) haulers off lobster boats.”

The students are building lobster traps and creating the gear needed for the traps.

Six students are taking a scuba diving class. Others are learning about preparing food on long fishing trips.

“They’re using plotters and learning how to plot and keep track of where the traps are in the water,” DeRaps said.

Some of the funds have been used to take the students on field trips to boatyards and fisheries.

The Marine Pathways teachers also are showing the students how to keep track of the hours they need to become captains and to earn their lobster fishing licenses.

DeRaps said the Marine Pathways program is open to all students except for freshmen.

Currently the students are designing and building radio-controlled scale models of land yachts, which are ice boats on wheels.

The students are designing the model out of wood and metal materials. The sails are made using paper patterns and plastic.

The project is intended to include and meet proficiency standards in math, science and writing.

The students are drawing diagrams, analyzing Newton’s second law of motion and writing an argumentative essay, said Steve Belyea, a teacher.

The three-hour classes include both individual and collaborative work.

During the coming few months Belyea said the students will be building lobster traps, a 12-foot skiff and a Pot Hauler demo board.

They also will complete the ServSafe course, which includes food service that meets sanitation regulations.

The Pathways program includes 20 percent of the student body at Sumner.

Once enrolled in the program students design their own personal learning plans, which can include traditional courses, online courses, early college courses, project-based learning experiences and structured Pathways courses.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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