US Sailing's Reach Program Educates Junior Sailors

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May 22, 2019 by Monica Grant

US Sailing has embraced the STEM model of eduation and is bringing the program within 'reach' of youth around the country.

STEM is the accronym for an integrated learning curriculum based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Live Science.com explains that "rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications."

Sounds simple right? But what makes this even better is that STEM has found its way to ship-board education and is inspriring students to learn by taking them outside of the traditional classroom environment. 

US Sailing is maximizing ship-board education through its Reach Program which "utilizes sailing as an educational platform, challenging youth to embrace education, establish a love of learning and explore productive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based careers."

By combining educators, sailing instructors, engineers, and scientists with today’s youth, US Sailing schools across the country are able to provide students with a "one-of-a-kind authentic, learning experience in a cooperative work environment". We all know children can become bored and lethargic when they spend all day in the classroom. Taking them outdoors and onto a boat, enlives their minds and their enthusaisms.

US Sailing STEM program  
Photo: US Sailing.

"With support from Rolex, US Sailing is excited to foster new Reach Hub programs and resources to actively 'normalize' STEM education and environmental literacy."

Mission Bay Aquatic Center (STEM COE); USSC Long Beach/Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation; Newport Sea Base/Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America; Westwind Sailing/Dana Point Aquatic Foundation; Columbia Sailing School at Columbia Yacht Club (STEM COE) and Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship/Orange Coast College Foundation are the most recent US Sailing Schools to receive grants for their STEM progams. 

To demonstrate how sailing schools can incorporate STEM into their programs, the OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship has "utilized several Reach modules in their summer sailing camps", and has enabled 200 youth aged 7 to 17 to enjoy hands-on science and sailing each year since 2016 . This year OCC is incorporating Reach into its spring camp program, partnering with new schools, and offering Reach modules as activities for attendees of their June Summer Sailstice event.

OCC Sailing

Watch this video for a great example of how STEM integrates into sailing-education:

Reach, US Sailing's STEM Initiative Explores Marine Debris in Chicago

Learn more about US Sailing.

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