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Inspiring Youth with STEAM through Sailing

16 Jun 2021

Endeavour is a Bermuda-registered charity and nonprofit that engages diverse youth across Bermuda in experiential learning through sailing that builds self-confidence and life skills. Endeavour’s goals are to improve access for youth from all backgrounds, skills and abilities to experience the joys of sailing, foster an appreciation for the marine environment, and ignite young minds for learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math or STEAM subjects and maritime careers.

As the 2020-2021 school year draws to a close, Endeavour will conclude its sixth year of the Endeavour Middle School Programme which is offered to every student across the Island during their first year of middle school. Over 3,500 students have engaged in the Endeavour Middle School Programme since it was established in 2015.
Celebrating 6 years of STEAM through Sailing with the Endeavour Middle School Programme

The Endeavour Middle School programme immerses students from all four public schools and eight private schools in an interactive experience that combines fun, hands-on STEAM learning activities complemented with practical sessions on the water to reinforce what students are learning in the classroom. Participation in the programme is linked to school enrolment. Students engage in the five-day programme from Monday to Friday from 9:00am-3:30pm from October to December and March through June aligning with the academic calendar.

Endeavour’s STEAM through sailing curriculum is designed to align with the Cambridge Curriculum learning objectives that are implemented in Bermuda’s public schools. Students enjoy learning at their own pace to connect what they are taught in the classroom with real-life applications of math and science on the water.  

Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s Community Engagement, Development, and Partnerships Manager stated, “We recognise that access to opportunities is not the same for everyone in our community. Statistics indicate that Bermuda’s young people face the risk of not competing successfully in the global economy without a strong foundation of STEAM knowledge and education to develop their competitive edge in the job market.

We created the Endeavour Middle School Programme to immerse students in learning about STEAM concepts applicable to sailing while developing collaboration, communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills which are vital for success in academic and professional settings.”

Endeavour is grateful for our growing partnership with the Ministry of Education, schools and teachers who dedicate their support toward the programme’s success. Thanks to generous support from Endeavour’s donors including lead founding partner, Orbis, there is no cost to students to ensure there are no barriers to participation.

Endeavour’s STEAM through Sailing curriculum features interactive learning modules including:

Day 1 – Buoyancy – exploring why and how boats float;

Day 2 – Sailing Geometry – exploring the evolution of the rig and how sail shape and design affects performance;

Day 3 – Wind Awareness – exploring wind direction, wind measurement, and renewable energy;

Day 4 – Marine Debris & its Impact on the Environment – exploring the importance of environmental stewardship;

Day 5 – Blo’Karting – students learn about apparent wind and the physics of sailing.

Students also learn about weather, knots, water safety, sailing fundamentals, and Bermuda’s rich maritime history. 

Endeavour is committed to reducing our environmental footprint and a key part of the Endeavour Middle School Programme enables students to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship inspiring youth participants to appreciate Bermuda’s environment. Each week students participate in a beach clean-up in the east and west ends of the Island during which they learn about what washes up on our beaches, collecting marine debris, tracking and analysing their findings as well as discussing ways to live in a more environmentally-friendly way.

Ms. C. Renee Heyliger, Sandys Secondary Middle School M1 Team Leader and Math Teacher said, “Endeavour provides a lot to our students both developmentally and academically to enhance what they are learning about at school. They do all different types of activities at Endeavour that enrich their learning, build their skills like teamwork and boost their confidence.”

Partnerships with community and educational organisations are critical to the success of Endeavour’s programmes that benefit public school students. 

The 2020-2021 school year marks six years of partnership between Endeavour and the Bermuda Cancer and Health SunSmart Programme. This collaboration enables students to learn more about the importance of protecting themselves from the sun.

Additionally, a collaboration between Endeavour and the National Museum of Bermuda enhances students’ appreciation for Bermuda’s maritime heritage. As part of the Endeavour Middle School Programme every Friday students visit the museum for an interactive scavenger hunt to inspire Bermuda’s youth about Bermuda’s maritime heritage. 

The 2020-2021 school year enabled Endeavour to strengthen its partnership with the museum while further enriching the students’ learning experience. Students are encouraged to identify an object that they learn about while at Endeavour, and over the course of the five day programme, they are able to reflect on the object, its meaning both historically and to them personally, and at the end of the week they have an opportunity to share with the group which also helps to further develop their communication and presentation skills.

Lisa Howie, Director of Learning & Engagement at the National Museum of Bermuda stated, “The National Museum of Bermuda values the partnership with Endeavour. The social-emotional development embedded in the Endeavour Middle School Programme aligns with the manner in which the study of history nurtures empathy; promotes understanding of divergent perspectives; and builds comparative and critical thinking skills.”

Endeavour is committed to continuous improvement and incorporates feedback from students, teachers, and educational partners to ensure that the programme’s learning objectives are effective and relevant toward enriching students’ development as they expand their knowledge and understanding of STEAM.

On average seventy percent of students report that they increased their knowledge and understanding of STEAM, and are more interested in learning about STEAM subject matters after participating in the Endeavour Middle School Programme. Teachers also report that students benefit from their Endeavour experience with increased confidence, new skills, improved peer to peer interaction, interest in STEAM and improved academic proficiency.

Tristan Loescher, Endeavour’s Programme Manager stated, The majority of students who we engage with have had little to no sailing experience prior to their experience at Endeavour. It is great to see the progress of students throughout their experience at Endeavour, and see them grow and develop as a person and as a sailor. By the end of the week, it is very rewarding to see how happy and proud they are of what they have accomplished.”

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