SailGP’s Inspire Learning program was forced to go virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but this did not stop SailGP Inspire and Endeavour from providing young people with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning experiences - which included building catapults and even designing one of SailGP's cutting-edge F50 catamarans.
During the week of April 5-10, young Bermudians who participate in the Endeavour Graduate Programme were invited to participate in the virtual Inspire Learning program, with a different learning objective each day set by SailGP Inspire.
Thirteen young Bermudians representing five local schools engaged in hands-on activities using resources at home to learn more about the science of sailing.
The week-long virtual STEAM through Sailing Challenge started with the concept of sail power on Monday inviting students to design and build their own sail car, with various materials utilised in the build process. While Lego seemed very popular, a special mention must go to Jah-Zuri Nisbett, Sandys Secondary Middle School M2 student, who utilised several household items in his design to great effect.
Nisbett said: “For the sail car design challenge I chose to design a sail car that floats and I was inspired by the Hobie Wave catamaran.”
Pulleys were the focus of day two with students invited to design and build their own pulley system - and their ingenuity really shone through with this task. Household items aplenty were used in these builds, while many shared SailGP's Race for the Future vision of a cleaner planet in their designs by the incorporation of recycled materials such as cardboard.
Bermuda Institute Grade 7 student, Pedro Durrant said, “I enjoyed completing the challenge activities, although some were harder than others it was good. It was fun to test out pulleys in my kitchen to transfer water from my kitchen sink using a smaller bucket into a bigger bowl. Thanks so much for the experience!”
On day three and the Inspire Learning candidates were tasked with designing and building levers, with the result a catapult capable of launching ping-pong balls. Incredibly, Aaron Lugo, Clearwater Middle School M2 student made three catapults for the task. There were some great launchers designed by the other students involved as well.
Aaron said: “I enjoyed the building and participating in the daily challenges. I wish we had more challenges on the weekend because I enjoyed it that much!”
The task for day four was for the young Bermudians to design one of SailGP's cutting-edge F50s, with three key areas to focus on; make it faster, make it safer, and improve its sustainability.
Isabel Welch, Bermuda High School Y8 student, drew her design on paper and explained the reasoning behind her changes relating to the three key areas defined, suggesting to wax the hull of the F50 for speed, add handles to the side of the boat for safety, and incorporate bamboo into the design to make the boat more sustainable and further align with SailGP’s Race for the Future initiative.
Welch said: “I enjoyed the building projects. The projects were fun, and I loved the great feedback from the SailGP Inspire team.”
The focus of the final day of the Inspire Learning program was understanding the wind, with students invited to design, build and test a wind instrument (weathervane, anemometer, and/or wind turbine) adjusting their design to find the most efficient version.
At the end of each day, students were invited to join a virtual reflection session to share their design and build process with their peers. They were also encouraged to reflect on their experience and ask questions to SailGP Inspire team members to delve further into learning about the science of sailing.”
Students and their families were invited to share photos and videos of their STEAM through Sailing design and build projects with their peers via an exclusive Facebook group.
SailGP Inspire youth program manager, Tom Herbert-Evans, said: “We are thrilled with the positive response from the Endeavour Grads who joined us for the Inspire Learning virtual STEAM through Sailing Challenge. It was amazing to see the students put in so much effort for each part of the challenge. We loved that they asked engaging questions and truly enjoyed watching them create and share their awesome designs with great pride and excitement. There are definitely future naval architects, engineers, boat builders and maritime professionals among the group!”
Tia Tankard, Endeavour’s Community Engagement Coordinator said: “We are grateful to all of the students who took part in SailGP Inspire Learning virtual STEAM through Sailing during their school break. They inspired us with their efforts and enthusiasm, and we are delighted they had this amazing learning opportunity thanks to Endeavour’s partnership with SailGP Inspire. We are grateful to their parents for helping them with activities and sharing photos and videos of their fantastic creations. Special thanks to Anne-Marie, Nikolai and Hans-Cristian from the Denmark SailGP Team who took time out of their busy training schedule to send a special message to our Endeavour Grads and answered their questions.”