Kids build the boats, and the boats build the kids”

Founded in 2002, Compass Project has been serving at-risk youth in Maine 20 years. Through project-based learning and mentoring relationships fostered by staff and volunteers, students build academic skills, develop self-esteem and confidence, and prepare themselves for a role in the workplace and their communities. Boat building is the vessel through which students learn critical STEM skills, apply provlem solving and critical thinking, and have the opportunities to build self esteem through independent exploration.


In the summer of 2015, Compass Project, became a program of Engine. The Compass Project was formerly a program of Spurwink, a behavioral health agency and prior to that, had its own non-profit status. The transition was facilitated by Spurwink to find a home with a more design-and-maker-oriented mission. Engine’s mission to connect and inspire our community through art, design, and education dovetails with the experiential and project-based learning focus of the program.

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