Sailing programs nationwide are rich environments for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning. Every time a student steps into a boat, pulls the tiller, or trims a sail they are experiencing powerful lessons. The weather above, the water below, and everything on the boat in-between can provide daily, real-world science lessons. Connecting these hands-on, experiential learning experiences to educational objectives can open up a whole new world of learning and opportunity to both sailors and sailing programs.
Join the 400+ programs taking part in Reach, US Sailing’s STEM Education Initiative. In 2012, US Sailing launched “Reach” a national education initiative to inspire sailing programs and school to utilize sailing as an educational platform. Reach exposes youth sailors, arguably our most vested future highly skilled workers and environmentalists, to STEM and environmental education. In addition, 90% of students participating in Reach are first time sailor, creating an on-ramp to the sport for youth of all backgrounds.
In 2011 John O’Flaherty, Executive Director of Community Boating Center, worked to share the successes of STEM and Sailing at CBC with US Sailing. His work with the Kialoa Youth Leadership Initiative, (view video) teaching underprivileged children a diverse set of skill sets through sailing-focused activities laid the groundwork for the initial founding and support of Reach. In 2012, John worked to guide the direction of the Reach program, curriculum, tools, and resources. In 2013, CBC held the first Reach STEM Educator Course, followed by the first Reach IT course. In 2015, CBC became the first Reach “Center of Excellence” in the NE Hub pilot funded by 11th Hour Racing. John is currently the Chair of the Reach National Faculty, a group of subject matter experts that drive the growth and success of Reach nationwide.
CBC – First Reach “Center of Excellence”
We look forward to continuing to build upon the measured success of our collaborative Reach NE Hub model. Our overarching goal is to increase quality STEM education and inspire future environmental stewards through sailing. Community Boating Center (CBC), the first Reach “Center of Excellence”, provides key mentoring activities and supports NE “Reach Centers” and programs in our region, demonstrating and sharing our knowledge and experience. CBC continues to develop best practices and tool-kits for programs ranging from those at an initial stage of implementing Reach, to mentoring more advanced organizations. Our success is accomplished through an array of mentoring sessions, STEM events, curriculum development, strategic partnering, resource development, assessment, and mentor sailing training.
Note: Images courtesy of US Sailing Reach Initiative. Used with permission.