US Sailing’s STEM Education Series

Reach Educator Guide Middle School, Modules 1-10

Look Inside Reach Educator Guide


The Reach Educator Guide is the perfect easy to follow curriculum for sailing instructors and teachers interested in implementing STEM through sailing! Middle School Modules 1-10 are designed for use in the classroom, on the water, and in outdoor classrooms. Implement 1 module or all 10. If you would like to dive into the curriculum through a one day professional development course, try US Sailing’s STEM Educator Course with includes a copy of the Reach Educator Guide. The Reach modules are correlated to National Education Standards in science and math, as well as US Sailing’s Learn Sailing Right! Beginner and Intermediate. US Sailing highly recommends working with your local school district to implement standards based programming in your area.

Regular Retail Price: $59.95

Member Price: $49.95

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Student Logbook & Portfolio

Look Inside the Student Logbook and PortfolioPerfect for youth ages 10-16, in the Reach Student Logbook & Portfolio provides a place for youth sailors to track their sailing skills, collect data, reflect on their learning, and engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and the environment around them.  Students will be inspired through the many “Career Connections” to peruse their love of sailing for a lifetime.

Regular Retail Price: $14.99

Member Price: $11.99

Bulk Pricing: 25+ $9.95 each

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The student book directly aligns to Modules 1-10 in the Reach Educator Guide: Middle School and also with the Learn Sailing Right Beginning Sailing and Learn Sailing Right Intermediate Sailing books.  A fit for Adventure Sailing Classes, Learn to Sail programs, and of course Reach programing.  Just getting started, check out the STEM Educator Course for teachers and sailing instructors participating in US Sailing’s Reach Initiative.

Check out the new Reach Modules!

New Reach Modules 11-18 are currently available to pilot in 2016. Let us know you are piloting a new Reach module. Your valuable feedback can be sent to

Module 11

Module 11: Microscopic Mysteries

“What “invisible” creatures live where we sail?”

Created by: Community Boating Center located in Providence, Rhode Island

Summary: Students construct plankton nets; collect plankton samples and learn to use microscopes to identify microscopic plants and animals in the samples.

Download Reach Module 11: Microscopic Mysteries_Community Boating Center


Module 12: Basin Geology (Fresh Water)

“How did the landscape around me form and how will it impact where I can sail?”

Created by: Community Sailing Center located in Burlington, Vermont

Summary: Students use map-making to aid their understanding of their surrounding landscape and community. They will explore concepts relating to sedimentary rocks, mountain-building, erosion, and watersheds. They gain a new perspective on their community and environment by building a watershed and drawing conclusions about the effects of pollution and the water cycle. They can apply their knowledge of the landscape around them to predict weather and determine safe areas to sail.

Download Module 12: Basin Geology_Community Sailing Center


Module 13: Trawling for Change

“What does science have to do with Seafood?”

Created by: New England Science and Sailing located in Stonington, Connecticut

Summary: As sailors, we find that the ocean is a source of inspiration, recreation, rejuvenation and discovery. From the ocean and inland waters we also get foods, medicines, and mineral and energy resources. In addition, it provides jobs, supports our nation’s economy, serves as a highway for transportation of goods and people, and plays a role in national security. In fact, fish supports 1 billion people around the world for protein! Through the following fishery activities, students will gain a broad understanding of just how important seafood is in our life. Students will explore sustainable ways to determine the amount and the way we can harvest fish where it does little to no harm to the environment, but leaves enough fish in the water for the population to renew itself.

Download Module 13: Trawling for Change Module_NESS

Robosail pic3Module 14: RoboSail

Goals of the 6 session course – you will be able to:
1. Program a robotic sailboat to do sailing tasks ranging from simple maneuvers to sailing a course autonomously
2. Code in C in the Arduino development environment,
3. Use a variety of electronic sensors and interface them with the computer
4. Create algorithms that translate sailing knowledge into code for a robot

Download Module 14: RoboSail Curric_ CBI


Module 15: Weather at the Extreme

“How and why does it rain and how and why do storms form?”

Summary: Students construct visual models to help them understand how rain showers, thunderstorms, and other low pressure phenomena occur. Students apply prior knowledge from Module 8 to new weather concepts. Students are introduced to the basic concepts of local and regional weather forecasting.

Download Module 15: Weather at the Extreme _ Downtown Sailing Center

Module 16: Estuary Exploration

Waterfront Puzzle: A look at the pieces that make up our beaches

Summary: Students use a variety of scientific tools to collect and record data at unique sections of the waterfront area (beach or dock pilings) and analyze aggregate data to better understand the inter-complexity of environmental components.

Download Module 16: Estuary Exploration – Lesson Plan_ Waterfront Center

Module 16 WFC REACH Module – Estuary Exploration – Student Data Sheets PDF


Module 17: Navigating Underwater Hazards

“What is hanging on to my rudder?”

Summary: Students take a closer look at the marine debris results they found in Module 6: Marine Debris. They
examine the origin of their local debris and where it is headed. Students also explore water hazards
created by debris. They look at international debris and local debris.

Download Reach Module 17:  Navigating Underwater Hazards


Module 18: A Sailor’s Environmental Footprint

“How am I impacting our waters and environment?”

Summary: Students take an in depth look at their own environmental impact and evaluate ways to change their behavior. In Part II they sail to a “Lunch Spot” and examine their environmental impact as a group. In Part III, students look at environmental impact in different regions and sail centers across the US. In Part IV, students plan a green regatta.

Download Module 18: A Sailors Environmental Impact

Interested in joining the Reach Initiative?

Register for the Reach STEM Educator Course , a one day professional development and training (which includes a copy of the Reach Educator Guide) or purchase the Educator Guide at the US Sailing store. We are always looking for schools and sailing centers to host a STEM Educator Course at their facilities. Many programs find hosting a Sailing Through STEM Night is an easy way to get started and ignite some STEM energy in your community.

Are you implementing two or more of the Reach modules at your school or youth program? Register with US Sailing’s Reach Initiative and your organization and contact information will be added to the Reach website.

Are you considering implementing Reach for the first time? Check out our resources, blogs by programs implementing Reach, student and teacher testimonials, or just read the latest news.

Reach: Middle School Modules 1-10




Investigative Question

Module 1 Measuring Wind “How can we use the wind if we can’t see it?”
Module 2 Buoyancy “How does this boat float?”
Module 3 Sail Area and Perimeter “What shape are sails and why?”
Module 4 Simple Machines on Sailboats “Why do boats have all these ropes and pulleys?”
Module 5 Water Quality Testing “What is happening in the water out there?”
Module 6 Marine Debris “How does marine debris get in our waters and where does it go?”
Module 7 Upwind Sailing Angles “How does geometry affect my sailing?”
Module 8 Land and Sea Breezes “Why does the wind change as the day progresses?”
Module 9 Wind Power “How is wind used as power?”
Module 10 Underwater Exploration “How can we learn more about our sailing environment?”

“I’m pretty critical when it comes to STEM, and there is a lot of trendy/science-as-entertainment stuff out there, but it looks like Reach has mostly gotten it right.  It appears tactile, mechanical and not dumbed-down.  It’s not whiz-bang or computer- or video-driven.  It looks like it’s the kind of thing that builds intuition and more importantly, the ability to build intuition.” – Brian Bauman Ph.D.

Common core

Reach Module Correlation to Common Care Math Standards


Module Correlation to the spirit of Next Generation Science Standards

The Reach modules are correlated to National Education Standards in science and math, as well as US Sailing’s Learn Sailing Right! Beginner and Intermediate. US Sailing highly recommends working with your local school district to implement standards based programming in your area.