Finding Your Swing!

                                                       (Image: painting by Revere La Noue)

The "Finding Your Swing" Project:

Rye Junior High School is taking on a year-long project that we are calling “Finding Your Swing.” The term “swing” is used within the competitive rowing community to describe when a rowing crew is in perfect sync with each other and the boat is moving forward at optimum performance. We are using the term as a theme for the year to present numerous interdisciplinary challenges to students. One focus of the project is that each grade level (6th grade - 8th grade) – will be building two rowboats and their corresponding oars. Each grade level will be building a different model boat (images below). 

6th graders will be building two “Eastport Prams”:
             (Image: Chesapeake Light Craft)

7th graders will be building two “Tenderlys”:

              (Image: Chesapeake Light Craft)

8th graders will be building two “Northeasterlys”:

             (Image: Chesapeake Light Craft)

At the end of the year (anticipated date is May 31st), we will be holding a “Rye Rowing Regatta” in Rye Harbor at which time each grade level team will have a relay race around various parts of the harbor. The entire community will be invited to line the shores to cheer on the student performances and accomplishments!

Upon completion of the Regatta, everyone will be invited back to Rye Junior High School (RJH) to share in a community BBQ and continued celebration of student work and accomplishments. At the BBQ, one of the six boats will be raffled off (raffle tickets may be purchased ahead of time and/or at the BBQ) and the other five boats will be auctioned off. Proceeds from the raffle and auction will support future STEAM related projects at the school.

Throughout the school year, many interdisciplinary projects will be integrated into a comprehensive investigation of “Finding Your Swing.” Two driving questions will be driving the curriculum this year: “What is the value in finding your swing?” and “How has the use of rowboats influenced life and work in Rye and New Castle Harbors?” Students will study the history of these harbors and the seacoast area, the varied uses of rowboats, and the value and benefits of working together as part of a team. The entire school will be reading the young readers version of the book Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown; community members will also be invited to read the story. Curriculum topics of study will include investigations into force and motion, buoyancy, speed, watercolor painting, making boat flags, creating marketing brochures, writing and publishing, woodworking, and perseverance.

The students will also be creating a “Coffee Table” book about the history of life and work in Rye and New Castle Harbors, their boat building process, the excitement of the Regatta, as well as the community celebration and auction. We will be having an epic year at Rye Junior High! We hope you are interested in our exciting project and will follow along! This webpage is full of information about the project and images of our progress! Enjoy!