Last summer, a handful of teachers from Anne Arundel County Public Schools participated in a pilot program conducted by the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) in conjunction with Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Known as the “Teacher Academy: Teaching Math & Science Teachers How to Sail,” the program engaged teachers from area elementary, middle and high schools with a free three-week course that combined on-water lessons in how to sail with collaborative sessions to develop curriculum for their classrooms.
These teachers developed lesson plans for elementary classrooms, and also for middle and high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes. The lessons use sailing as both a learning motivator and an experiential lab to reinforce the STEM lessons learned in the classroom.
As a direct result of the program, two of the Teacher Academy graduates have implemented the curriculum they developed last year. Marc D’Arcangelis is using the curriculum to teach elementary students at West Annapolis Elementary and Annapolis Elementary Schools. “Last summer’s Teacher Academy was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the scientific principles of sailing and actually observe and apply them to the art of sailing, first-hand,” commented Mr. D’Arcangelis. “My sailing mates and I practiced all aspects of sailing, while cruising the Chesapeake and its tributaries more than a dozen times over the course of four weeks. We’ve taken our experiences back to school and are creating for students project-based opportunities to learn about sailing.”
Kimberly Cox, a STEM educator at South River High School, is using the curriculum she developed at the NSHOF Teacher Academy to teach her 10th grade AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students about the art and science of sailing and the variety of marine and maritime career opportunities available. “I was thrilled to be a part of the NSHOF Teacher Academy last summer,” said Ms. Cox. “It was an incredible experience. I was able to create lessons to teach what I learned to my 10th grade AVID students and thanks to the NSHOF and the United States Naval Academy, they will be able to experience this first hand on a sailing field trip.”
On May 9, 10 and 11, the students from both Mr. D’Arcangelis’ and Ms. Cox’s classes went on a sailing field trip. Departing from the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s public docks, they applied their classroom lessons while sailing aboard the tall ship privateer LYNX, a 76′ schooner based on an historic privateer named LYNX that was built by Thomas Kemp in 1812 in the Fells Point area of Baltimore, Maryland.