Put boating on the curriculum.


Sept 28, 2023

The kids are now back at school and the discussion, as always, is what are they learning and is it enough for them to manage the world of tomorrow?

The OnBoard Team has come up with a proposal that will help every kid to understand science and technology while improving their physical and intellectual skills.  It’s easy – put the kids in boats.

Boats are a secret hotbed of scholarship for learning important mechanical and natural science principles. Acceleration = final speed – starting speed, over time. Get aboard a Beneteau and you’ll know that in minutes. Vector algebra: no problem. Force driving the boat encounters resistance from the water. Planing – let’s look at hull design basics.  Observe how trim tabs or headsails work and you’re 30% on your way to an engineering degree with a minor in fluid dynamics.

And that’s before electronics. Consider a depth sounder, anemometer, VHF frequencies, chartplotters. Teach the kids to install and network instruments, understand communication protocols and the fundamentals of signal resonance and you’ve set them up for life in the digital world. It’s a never-ending classroom.

Rather than discussing water conservation, you just look over the side and see what’s floating around. Take that, Ms Grade 11 biology teacher. Then, educate them on how a crew works together to optimize boat performance and they can take family studies off the schedule. History?  Check out that sextant You’ll learn a lot about astronomy, human evolution, time management and traditional manufacturing. Then contrast its use with that of navigators today for 80% of your term mark.

This is no exaggeration. You may not consider it while you are out there in your boat, but the whole experience is an unheralded, multi-faceted learning opportunity.

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