2017 Reach Grantees (part 2) Building A National Network

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A National Network – Capacity Building

The Network is a group of regional based coalitions — comprised of sailing centers working with schools, youth organizations, and local environmental education organizations that are growing access to the water, quality and quantity of STEM and environmental education through sailing. Each region is led by a STEM Center of Excellence, which is based in a major US city and engages students of all backgrounds in the Reach program through effective partnerships. Grants are provided to help increase capacity and establish new partnerships with schools and youth organizations. Together these regional coalitions gather twice a year to share best practices and participate in professional development.


Mission Bay Aquatic Center (San Diego, CA) – Emerging STEM Center of Excellence, Southern California Region

Mission Bay Aquatic Center has implemented Reach modules into camp and it’s been a great success.  Currently we are doing Simple Machines, Buoyancy, Measuring Wind, and Watershed in our afternoon multi-sport camps.  MBAC will have exposed 2000+ kids to at least one Reach module each by summer’s end.”

At MBAC we have incorporated Reach material into our youth sailing programs.  We anticipate that 469 youth will participate in these programs in the coming year.  Students who complete all levels of the small boat sailing program will receive 5-7 modules of material.  We are also adding a Sailing and STEM day to our multi-sports camp this summer where students will participate in a Reach module and then sail with Counselor-In-Training youth sailors.  We anticipate 1650 participants in this program this summer.  Participants in these programs will be fee paying students alongside at-risk and under-represented scholarship participants.

In September we plan to pilot our classroom visit/on-the-water Reach program 1-2 classrooms from local school serving at-risk youth.  There will be 5 classroom visits covering Reach modules culminating in a field trip to our facility for an on-the-water sailing class in Sabots.  Transportation will be provided to the groups and pre/post testing will evaluate the impact of the program.



Community Boating Center (Providence, RI) – Northeast STEM Center of Excellence

Community Boating Center (CBC) continues 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. CBC, the first Reach “Center of Excellence”, provided key mentoring activities and supported NE “Reach Centers” and programs in our region. Our success was accomplished through an array of mentoring sessions, STEM events, curriculum development, strategic partnering, resource development, and third-party program quality assessment.

During the summer NESS also uses Reach modules during inclement weather and when there is too much wind.

New England Science & Sailing (Stonington, CT)  – Northeast STEM Center

New England Science & Sailing uses the US Sailing Reach modules during the academic year and summer, particularly with their New London Initiative students. NESS has Reach educators on staff who teach the lessons to the group while additional sailing instructors help implement the lessons and experiments. “We have found that the kids really enjoy the programming and it is an excellent addition to NESS’s curriculum.”

Knowledgeable & empowered instructors make excellent teachers.

Community Sailing Center (Burlington, VT) – Northeast STEM Center

One aspect of Reach that is working very well for @Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center is enrolling our instructors in the Reach Educator Course. It empowered them to make their own connections between sailing and STEM concepts. Sailing instructors taking initiative has led to an advanced group sailing all around the bay testing water quality and an impromptu lesson on fluid dynamics during a downpour.

Photo by Michelle Hollander
Photo by: by Aaron Cuison

The WaterFront Center (Oyster Bay, NY) – Northeast STEM Center

The Waterfront Center uses the Reach modules as part of their school partnership programming, and they build them into our camp programs.  During our summer camp program, students have special sessions with the STEAM coordinator to delve more deeply into a variety of topics from biology and ecology to earth and physical sciences. Reach provides us with place-based curriculum that has improved students understanding of the marine environment and how boats work!  Plus, we have an amazing community to share ideas with.”  – Michelle Hollander

Baltimore Sailing through School student mans the tiller of The Bear, Amanda Payton 2016
Students test their underwater ROVs in the Baltimore Harbor, Amanda Payton, 2017

Downtown Sailing Center (Baltimore, MD) – Mid-Atlantic STEM Center of Excellence

The major way that @Downtown Sailing has used the Reach modules this year is to jump start our STEM initiative with our after school programs. This year we ran 2 after school programs; Wolfe St. Academy & Bay Brook Elementary and Middle School. The Reach curriculum is the basis for our Sailing STEM Education program in these schools. We adapted the first 10 modules for classroom use during the fall and winter, and then revisited them on the water in the spring.

“One aspect of the Reach program that has worked very well for our students is the hands-on elements of the modules. The students enjoyed the creative challenge of designing an anemometer and being able to test and improve their designs.”  – Amanda Payton


Sail Nauticus (Norfolk, VA) – Mid- Atlantic STEM Center

Sail Nauticus will be impacting 500 students in 2017 from their after school and summer programs. Sail Nauticus currently partners with Norfolk public schools and nonprofit organizations that work with undeserved youth in their region.


SUNY Maritime College (Bronx, NY) – Mid-Atlantic STEM Center

SUNY Maritime College intends to have 150 middle school aged children participate in 3-5 Reach modules in 2017.  We anticipate the majority of participants (135) would be from our Maritime Adventure Summer Camp program, while another 15 students would be engaged through a special summer program.

SUNY Maritime College’s Reach program entailed two components. Our primary audience was 5th – 9th grade students in one of our three, two-week long Maritime Adventure Boat Camp sessions. The approximately 40 participants in each session of our day camp program were able to choose their daily activities with only a few activities being required. As a result all of our campers participated in at least one Reach module. We were pleasantly surprised that on any given day 10-20 campers chose “Marine Environmental Science” where they would do Reach modules on buoyancy, weather, or water quality. In addition, 15-25 participants chose “Dinghy Sailing” in which they participated in Reach modules such as measuring wind, land and sea breezes, and simple machines.

As a result of the success of implementing the Reach program on campus last year the Waterfront is now part of the campus wide strategic planning for STEM activities. These activities currently include a naval architecture based after school program and a weeklong summer residential STEM Academy for maritime/water themed high school students. In the near future the Waterfront will be submitting a proposal for a Billion Oyster Maritime Adventure Camp for college administrators to consider as part of this campus STEM strategy.


Hudson River Community Sailing (New York City, NY)  – Mid-Atlantic STEM Center

Hudson River Community sailing has been using Reach in our City Sail Summer Camp, where students build anemometers, study Hudson marine ecology, and collect marine debris from the river. Our Marine Debris unit is taught by high school students from our four-year after school program, who are peer educators for younger students!


Baltimore County Sailing Center (Essex, MD) – Mid-Atlantic STEM Center

In 2016 BCSC implemented Reach modules in our Cove Crab and Chesapeake Child shore programs. Additionally, our one-week Xcite sailing program incorporated 3-5 modules. In 2017, it is our intent to develop relationships with local elementary and middle schools to identify potential scholarship campers and continue their involvement during the school year.

Community Boating Inc. (Boston, MA) – Northeast STEM Center