TISC SSL Fall 2017- 5,500 Smiles and Counting !

Set Sail Learn, our experiential STEM program for San Francisco 4th graders, passed the 5,500 “smiles” milestone during the Fall 2017 Session.  Students learned about history, ecology and renewable energy. And buoyancy by building and testing their own watercraft!

654 4th grade students attended one of the 25 Set Sail Learn classes at Treasure Island Sailing Center during our just-completed Fall 2017 session. These youngsters came from 13 San Francisco Unified School District schools.

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On Wed., Oct 25, 2017 we had 29 students from the Francis Scott Key Elementary School. Since the start of the program in Fall 2013, students from this school have come every Fall session (except 2015), with a total of 9 classes and 273 attending our SSL program!

Each class had the option of studying Ecology of the Bay, Renewable Energy (with a focus on wind power) or Watercraft Engineering (with a focus on buoyancy).  Along with these studies in our activities center, students sailed in RS Venture or J24 sailboats.

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Students from the Francis Scott Key Elementary School connected with crabs as a way to learn about the Ecology of SF Bay.  Ecology-journal-min

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A class from the Sutro Elementary School learned about the origin of sea breeze…

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… and then built “wind cars” as part of their study of Wind Power.

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Testing and racing the “wind cars” was the most fun!

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Set Sail Learn classes alternate interactive discussions and study in the activity center with sailing on Clipper Cove.

Big smiles from “hands on” not only in the classroom activities but also on the tiller, actually driving J24 sailboats.

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At the conclusion of the Fall 2017 SSL session, 5,526 SFUSD students have attended 212 Set Sail Learn classes at TISC on Clipper Cove. They represented 39 schools over the last five years.

Regards from On the cove,

Alec L., with thanks to Luxine for the SSL pictures

 

In the wake

The grant received from St. Francis Sailing Foundation last fall was a game changer for TISC and SFUSD 4th graders. It officially launched the program; enabling the jump from pilot to a fully staffed program that delivers over 45 classes per year – at no charge to the schools.

The StFSF grant funds about half of the classes. TISC raises the other half through public and private grants along with individual donations.  Each SSL class costs approximately $1,500. If you are able and inclined to make an investment in the future of our children, please consider making a donation to the TISC annual fund – every donation helps no matter how much you are able to invest. If you act by December 31, 2017 your donations, up to $12,500, will be matched dollar for dollar. You can DONATE HERE.

 

FSK Students Sail, Play Crab Games On Clipper Cove

Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology.  They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations.   Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!

FSK-on the cove_resizeLast week the fourth graders from Ms. Huschke’s class at Francis Scott Key Elementary School experienced life on top of and in the waters of Clipper Cove and learned about the ecology of SF Bay. Our unique experiential learning program combines on-the-water time in RS Venture sailboats, participation in outdoor games, and active learning about ecology, math, biology and other sciences in our lab.

bus included_resizeThanks to the America’s Cup and the Mayor’s office TISC launched Set Sail Learn (SSL) in the Fall of 2013. Set Sail Learn provides an experiential learning opportunity to every fourth grader in the San Francisco Unified School District by opening a door to the Bay and the world of sailing.  The program uses hands-on lessons to teach 4th grade core standards;  there is no cost to the schools for transportation, instructors, or materials.

project books included_resizeFSK students were here to learn about the Ecology of the Bay.  TISC developed the curricula specifically for SSL.  Teachers are provided with workbooks and instructions in advance of each visit.  Other class options include Maritime History and The Power of the Wind.

Over 1,600 SSL participants from 25 SFUSD schools have seen and felt SF Bay first hand in RS Venture sailboats since the start of the program.  The protected environment of Clipper Cove, complete with backdrops of Oakland cranes, the Bay Bridge and San Francisco, provides a safe, accessible location to integrate sailing with learning.fsk loading up_resize
Even with a small amount of wind, and some help from Newton’s third law, the RS Ventures ghosted over the waters of Clipper Cove.

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FSK on clipper cove SF BackdropHalf the kids sail while the other half learn about ecology and the needs of Dungeness crabs.  They learn food, oxygen and habitat is required for the population to grow.  The “crab game” helps them visualize nature at work.  They also learn how to plot data to show their results. rules of the game_resize

crab game in actioncrab population analysis_resizeActive participation in our learning lab makes for lively discussions and encourages open communications.  Some classes provide opportunities for working in teams as part of the lesson.participation is communications_resizeIMG_4034_resize

While some fourth graders have been on or near the bay, few have been in sailboats or actually touched and played in the water. Or skippered a sailboat!FSK thumbs up_resize water play -1_resize water play -2_resize

FSK - driving_resizeClipper Cove is home to a wide range of plant and animal sea life. Seaweed can be found while sailing or around the docks.  This seaweed is home to even smaller organisms. Sealife on the dock_resize sealife up close_resize

IMG_3974_resizeDocks and ramps provide ideal source of seaweed and algie.  Microscopes enabled FSK students to see these living parts of SF Bay up close in our lab and lead students to even more discoveries.  Some only visible under the microscope.sealife under the scope_resize

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While advanced navigation is not part of our SSL curricula the instructors explain maps, directions, and basic navigation – from bearings on the dock to tracking landmarks on the Bay.  When taking pictures I was pleased to note the kids did a good job of pointing in the right direction when asked, for example, “where’s north?”that way is north_resize

Or, “point toward the west”.that direction is west_resize

The October 16th tide was dropping as SSLearn progressed.  The “crab calling” lessons provided by Chris Childers, Program Director and SSL Instructor, brought out the rock crabs.  This lead to further investigation along the break wall.crab callingcrabs looking for food_resizecrab watching_resize

SSL students weren’t the only ones interested in the rock crabs.crabs being looked at for food

SF Bay is famous for its Dungeness crab population. Clipper Cove is home to many, and sometimes they join our classes for a brief cameo appearance.  Such was the case when FSK Elementary was here.crab is in guest for the afternoon_resize

Not only seeing but actually touching “the real thing” of course makes the classes even more memorable. dungeness crab_resize

At the end of the day our “crabby” friend headed home. As did the FSK Students.guest gone_resize

The Francis Scott Key staff stress skills that enable their students to be successful citizens and life long learners. The TISC SSL Learn program fits well with their core curriculum and resonated directly with their goals to develop an understanding and appreciation in the areas of technology, art, music, and physical education.  Their time at TISC here on Clipper Cove fit right into their school theme: “Building Healthy Minds and Bodies.”

While filling rapidly, there are still classes available for TISC’s Spring SSL Session which start Monday, April 13, 2015.  Interested fourth grade teachers, principals and PTO leaders can read more about our program and sign up for sessions on line at the TISC website here:  Sailing into Schools.   I recommend you register immediately if interested in brining your class to an April 2015 session.

Regards from On the Cove, Dave G ( daveg @ onclippercove . com )

In the wake:

If you are a parent, grandparent of family member of a student whose class is featured below, please contact your teacher for the link to a directory of all the pictures taken during the class visit to TISC.

FSK Students Sail, Play Crab Games On Clipper Cove – Posted

Francis Scott Key Elementary students sailed on Clipper Cove and studied SF Bay ecology.  They used gaming theory and mathematics to forecast Dungeness crab populations.   Crab calling lessons to rouse crabs from the sea wall were a big hit!

Cleveland and Feinstein Schools  On Clipper Cove – Posted

SSLearn is in full swing at TICS. Spring classes started in April and continue through May. Fourth graders from Cleveland School and Dianne Feinstein School each spent a day at Treasure Island Sailing Center recently. Experiential learning looks like fun!

JYC Kids’ Crabby Day at TISC – Posted

As 33 John Yehall Chin Elementary School  fourth graders departed TISC after their SSLearn Day, I asked for six words describing their feelings. I was blown away when one student excitedly exclaimed “I’m crabby, day had to end”!