Crafting Passages

Science, Tech, Engineering, Art and Math

Craft

Measurement

Creativity

Collaboration

Science, Tech, Engineering, Art and Math

Craft

Ever heard the phrase “Men don’t talk face to face, they talk shoulder to shoulder”?

Well, it’s got a lot of truth to it, and it applies to relationships among boys too—as well relationships between boys and men. The fact is, boys and men both love to engage in common tasks, projects, objects of interest and problem solving, and when they do share a project or task, they usually end up creating far more than just the designated goal: they build relationships, talk about their lives, laugh, share insight, offer each other emotional support and build trust.

The phrase perfectly encapsulates the power of Journeymen’s Crafting Passages program—which takes our group-mentoring foundation and adds to it collaborative wood crafting projects which enrich mentees’ social-emotional learning with STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math) skills-building.

Crafting Passages is a collaborative effort between Journeymen and UNC Asheville’s state of the art STEAM Studio in Asheville’s River District. Offered both in weekend workshop form and as an after-school program to local middle school students through Asheville City School Foundation’s In Real Life program, each Crafting Passages cohort plans, designs and implements a set of wood-crafting projects either over the course of two weekends or for a ten week session each fall and spring semester. Projects are planned to be beautiful, useable, educational and incorporate a service-learning component wherever possible.

Past projects have included canoe-building—in which the four canoes built were auctioned off to raise funds for future sessions; blue-bird houses—which included an educational component on the life-cycle of bluebirds and their ecological and environmental needs; dog houses—which were donated at the end of the semester to a local 501 (c) (3) no-kill shelter.

In the spring of 2019, we look forward to once again building a series of dog houses to donate as well as delving into the world of CNC  (Computer Numerical Control) design to build a parametric bench that we’ll donate to a local middle school.

Crafting Passages in-groups take place primarily at STEAM Studio, where mentees are exposed to a variety of fabricating and wood-crafting tools and an environment of higher education primarily used by UNCA college students in STEAM-related curricula. As mentees work on their own basic projects and observe UNCA students focused on their own more sophisticated endeavors, they build higher aspirations for their own capabilities, expand their understanding of what higher education can offer them, and learn from the diligence and commitment to personal enrichment and skills-development that college students model in the shared space.

 

Spring 2019 ROPAW

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