7th Grade Simple Machines Integrated Math & Science Unit Kicks Off: Mentor Harbor Yachting Club (MHYC) partners with Hawken Middle School in Lyndhurst, Ohio to engage youth in STEM and sailing through US Sailing’s Reach Initiative. Hawken 7th graders were introduced to simple machines through a scavenger hunt on a sailboat. Students learned all the locations of levers, pulleys, wedges, wheels & axles, screws, and inclined planes on sailboats and how these simple machines work together to power a boat through wind and water. Students also learned how the human body acts like a lever while on a sailing boat and how to tie a useful knot. Mentor Harbor Yacht Club provided the boat and experts to work with youth.
Kathy Allyn of MHYC spent the day at Hawken School’s middle school, with an MHYC Opti set up in their lobby, in order to assist their 7th grade science unit on small machines using the unit from US Sailing Reach Curriculum. The science teacher adapted their lesson to her unit, and created a scavenger hunt for small machines on the Opti. While Kathy explained the different parts of the boat, the students searched for simple machines. They learned by playing with the pulleys and such – for instance, we rigged the main sheet two different ways so they could see the benefit of multiple pulleys. Many of them experienced a close-up of a sailboat for the first time. They watched YouTube highlight videos of sailing on Optis and 420s so that they could see the boats in action, as well as human levers in action (hiking). We brought extra lines and taught them all to tie a square/reef knot as well as how to coil a line. (We had animatedknots.com looping the square knot technique for them to watch as they tried on their own.)
MHYC also talked up camp and high school sailing to the kids – of course!!
Overall, it was a great day and a success on many fronts! – Kathy Allyn