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San Francisco 4th Graders Setting Sail & Learning

Photo Courtesy: TISC / 2018 Fall Set Sail Learn Program Underway

Set Sail Learn is back in swing at Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) this week with its fall program which runs through October 23. The program, which launched in 2013 thanks to a significant grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation, is now in its 5th year and in the past year alone provided a whopping 1300 4th graders from the San Francisco Unified School district with the opportunity to go sailing and learn about all things related to our oceans. The Foundation continues to support the program and is proud of that which it has accomplished in a short time.

Set Sail Learn provides a fun and educational classroom experience while introducing students to sailing and the Bay. For most kids participating, it is a first-sail experience for them, and often their first introduction to the Bay waters. It teaches them not only how to enjoy the Bay but also how and why we need to protect it.

“SSL provides a meaningful STEM based curriculum which supplements and reinforces next generation science standards (NGSS) being taught in school but does so in an engaging way which cannot be replicated in any classroom,” said Travis Lund, TISC Executive Director.

Set Sail Learn takes place Monday through Thursday, with one group of up to 30 4th-graders from one school participating per day. On the water, the kids sail in RS Ventures unless the predicted wind is above 15 knots, then they’re in J/24’s.

In the classroom, the program offers a lot of science curriculum which teachers can work with prior to the kids coming to the program, and then it offers curriculum for a week or two after they leave so the experience does take longer than just the one period. The kids are also sent home with information about Opening Day, summer camps, etc., fall and spring classes with the hope that they’ll return.

TISC co-founder Carisa Harris-Adamson is very proud of what TISC has accomplished with the program:

“In the Bay Area, we’re so surrounded by water – ocean and bay – it’s amazing how many of these kids have not seen it and certainly not been on it. Many of them have never crossed the Bay Bridge so just learning that docks go up and down with waves and water – there are a lot of cool experiences that these kids are getting -– learning about wind on and off the water. It’s just so fun watching them build these little wind-powered cars that they race in the classroom.”

An instructor of Industrial Design at Cal Berkeley, Harris-Adamson loves all things science and sailing so it’s special to her to be able to share that with some many young kids.

“It’s fun to see 4th graders go through the same design process, like figuring out that their mast is too far forward so it tips over – it’s design that they are practicing and seeing that light bulb go off is fun. Science is a lot harder from a book – immersing kids in the experience while they learn at the same time changes perspective.”

Michelle SladeSan Francisco 4th Graders Setting Sail & Learning