STEM Through Sailing & Boating

Our 2022 Program Connected Classroom Learning and the Chesapeake Bay for Over 90 Fifth-Grade Students

In the first week of June, over 90 fifth-grade students from Eastport Elementary, Georgetown East Elementary, and Annapolis Elementary Schools participated in the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation (EYCF) STEM through the Sailing and Boating Program. After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, it was great to get the program running again.

Each class spent a day at Eastport Yacht Club (EYC). During the morning sessions, volunteers from EYC taught the students about Tides, Navigation, Wind, Mechanical Advantage, and Ecosystem Health through hands-on learning modules. Following lunch, the students, their teachers, and chaperones got to experience several hours on the water with volunteer captains aboard their boats. “Students were thrilled to put their new skills to the test on the water,” says Meghan Hryniewicz, EYCF STEM Program Co-Chair. “For most, it was their first time on the Chesapeake Bay and it was so rewarding to see their faces light up.”

“It’s fantastic for kids to learn from real-world scenarios,” says Eric Day of Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS). “The partnership between the EYCF and AACPS has been a significant highlight of the students’ elementary experience.”

In partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the program aims to help kids understand the connection between classroom learning, their environment, and the Chesapeake Bay.

This program is designed to extend student learning by demonstrating how classroom lessons tie directly to recreational boating, commercial boating, and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay.  On shore students learn topics such as Mechanical Advantage, Tides Navigation and Wind and Ecosystem Health. The students then come aboard captained sailboats for the on-the-water learning experience. 

 The STEM program is currently offered in June each year to three elementary schools in Annapolis/Eastport.

“Eastport’s fifth grade students were thrilled to experience your wonderful On the Water STEM program. The knowledge and insight they gained in their research during this trip will remain with them and hopefully instill a lifelong interest in the Chesapeake Bay and its abundant resources. From our students and staff we thank you and wish you a wonderful summer on the Chesapeake.” -Lynne Evans, Principal, Eastport Elementary School

Find out how you can help!

The STEM program provides many opportunities for community support.

Volunteers are needed for both the In-School and On-the-Water days for each school. Sailboats and powerboats are needed to take youngsters and their volunteer instructor/facilitator out on the bay for both the joy of the experience and to complete a research assignment.

Inquire About Volunteer Opportunities

Community partners are needed to provide program materials and sponsorship. Donations of all sizes to the Education Fund Drive help support the refinement and growth of this unique educational opportunity.

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Interested in this opportunity for your students?

 This program is designed for use by any Chesapeake Bay yacht clubs, Maritime Museums or other educational programs around the Bay in partnership with their local elementary schools.  EYCF will provide the module materials, curriculum, teacher training and volunteers to oversee the program’s planning & implementation.  STEM program hosts will provide facilities, boats, the partnership with their local elementary schools and additional host-designated costs like food and water for the students. Contact to find out more.

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