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NSHOF Sailing STEM Program - Super Sails! Overview | Print |

"Super Sails!" - Curriculum

Learning Objectives - 5th Grade

Students will:

  • Become engaged in the science of sailing, specifically sail design and how a sail works to move a sailboat
  • Be introduced to essential background on the art and history of sailing, including terminology, so that they have a context from which to study the design and purpose of sails
  • Learn first-hand how sail design impacts sailboat performance

SuperSails-AACPS


Timing: 
Each of these lessons are a 45-60 minute lesson plan, designed to be presented over six weeks (they do not have to be consecutive weeks).

 

Note: An on-water experience is strongly suggested, to give students an opportunity to see for themselves how sails actually work as an integral part of the sailboat. It is also strongly suggested that this experience does not take place prior to the PBL, but after completing either Lesson 4 or Lesson 7. 

MOI = Method of Instruction (Research, Lecture, Workshop, etc.)


Lesson 1: Introduction to Sailboats

Introduction / Videos

 

Introduce students to the excitement of sailing and the science involved using one or more short videos available online.

MOI: YouTube videos.

The Language of Sailing

 

Students will learn about "boating language" — the unique terminology used to describe the parts of a sailboat and how they work to move a sailboat. They will also develop an understanding that while sailboat designs differ greatly, most of the fundamentals are the same. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.

Parts of a Sailboat

 

Students will learn and be able to identify basic sailboat components, including the hull, standing rigging, running rigging, sails and underwater appendages (rudder and keel or centerboard/daggerboard).  

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, video, Sailboat Parts ID Exercise.


Lesson 2: Evolution of Sailboats

Introduction

 

Students will learn how sailboats have relied upon the wind for propulsion. 

MOI: Presentation.

Early History

 

The very beginning of how humans learned to harness the wind and put it to use for moving them through the water. Students will learn about dhows, lateen sails, the need for ballast, and the evoution of the Marconi rig and its importance.

MOI: Presentation.

Age of Sail

 

Discover the period during the 16th-19th centuries, when international trade and naval warfare were dominated by sailiing ships. Students will learn about various sail designs, including the square rig, ketches and yawls, cutters and sloops, and catboats. The introduction of the spinnaker will also be discussed.

MOI: Presentation.

Modern Designs

 

Students will learn about more recent and radically different developments in sailboat and sail design, including multihulls and hydrofoils, and the science behind why they make such a huge difference in speed. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, videos.


Lesson 3: How a Sailboat Works

Introduction

 

After reviewing terminology and other concepts learned, student learn about how two different systems — aerodynamic and hydrodynamic — work together to make for a complex system that determines how the interaction of the wind, sails, hull, water, and keel all effect a boats propulsion

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, videos.

Sails

 

Discuss the difference between the "push" and "pull" modes of sailing, and how wind "bends" around sails as it goes by, creating pressure differences.  

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, videos. Fan & Hand Exercise.

Keel

 

Discover the importance of the keel to a sailboat's performance, and learn the basic physics principles that lead to the keel's multiple roles in not only propelling the boat forward, but also in preventing a monohull sailboat from both going sideways and flipping over. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.


Lesson 4: Hulls and Sails

Why a Sailboat's Hull is So Important

 

Students learn about how a hull affects vessel stability, speed and passenger comfort, and the tradeoffs that are made between these ideals when selecting different hull types and designing hull shapes.

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction

Hull Types

 

The different hull types (monohull, catamaran and trimaran) are introduced and their features compared.

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.

Keel Types

 

Along with hull type, the type and size of a sailboat's keel has a tremendous impact in how the sailboat will perform. The pros and cons of full keel, fin keel, bulb keel and winged keel designs are discussed.

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction. 

 

Hull Displacement

 

Students are introduced to the concept of hull displacement (the amount of water that is "shoved" aside by the weight of the sailboat and replaced with the inner volume of the boat). How water salinity affects hull displacement is discussed.

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, worksheets.

 

Displacement / Length Ratio (D/L)

 

An introduction to the mathematical calculation that is so important in determining a sailboat design's purpose and performance. Students will learn what constitutes a heavy displacement versus a light displacement hull, and why an ideal D/L ratio is based on how the boat is to be used, so there is no "best" number.  

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, worksheets.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio (B/D)

  In addition to D/L, the amount of weight, or ballast, that a sailboat carries in it's hull or on its keel will work to counter the "heel" (leaning over) that is created by the wind on the sails. Students will learn that the right B/D ratio will enable a sailboat to go faster without becoming unstable, while a heavy B/D slows a boat down, and a light B/D creates instability that can be dangerous, depending on the boat's intended use and where it will be sailed.

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, worksheets.

Sail Lift and Sail Area (SA)

  Students will review how sails are used to generate lift, and thus speed. They will also learn how to measure and calculate Sail Area (SA) in order to determine a sail's potential for generating speed. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.


Calculating SA

  When an object is in the way students will need to learn to head off to keep a proper course. If they don't head off they will add error to their courses.

MOI: Student measurement exercise, videos.


Lesson 5a: Hull Speed and Buoyancy - Part 1

Speed

 

After reviewing previous lessons, students are introduced to how all of the concepts they have learned are used together to determine a boat's potential to go fast. 

MOI: Presentation, Student Analysis.

Modes of Sailing

 

The different modes of sailing — displacement, planing and forced — are introduced. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.

Hull Speed

 

As a displacement sailboat hull pushes through the water, it is constantly displacing a new patch of water, creating waves at the bow and stern of the boat, which work to "trap" the hull and prevent it from going any faster. The concept of theoretical hull speed is discussed and the calculations used to determine hull speed are introduced. Also, students will explore why length is important to speed for displacement sailboats but not for planing sailboats. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, worksheets. 

Buoyancy

 

A boat floats so long as its total volume weighs less than the density of the water it is displacing. Students are introduced to the Archimedes Principle and the concepts of gravitational weight and upward buoyancy force, as a trigger to a discussion of density

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, videos. Optional classroom buoyancy demonstration.


Lesson 5b: Hull Speed and Buoyancy - Part 2

Speed

 

After reviewing previous lessons, students are introduced to how all of the concepts they have learned are used together to determine a boat's potential to go fast. 

MOI: Presentation, Student Analysis.

Modes of Sailing

 

The different modes of sailing — displacement, planing and forced — are introduced. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.

Hull Speed

 

As a displacement sailboat hull pushes through the water, it is constantly displacing a new patch of water, creating waves at the bow and stern of the boat, which work to "trap" the hull and prevent it from going any faster. The concept of theoretical hull speed is discussed and the calculations used to determine hull speed are introduced. Also, students will explore why length is important to speed for displacement sailboats but not for planing sailboats. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, worksheets. 

Buoyancy

 

A boat floats so long as its total volume weighs less than the density of the water it is displacing. Students are introduced to the Archimedes Principle and the concepts of gravitational weight and upward buoyancy force, as a trigger to a discussion of density

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction, videos. Optional classroom buoyancy demonstration.


Lesson 6: Sailboat Workshop

The Engineering Design Process

 

Students are introduced to the process used by naval architects and marine engineers to imagine, develop, test and improve sailboat hull and sail designs. 

MOI: Presentation requiring student interaction.

Introduction to the Sail Car Kit

 

Having learned the basic principles of sailboat and sail design, students are now teamed together to design and build their own model sailboat on wheels.

MOI: Presentation and demonstration. Sail Car Kit


Lesson 7: Activity — Sailboat Design Project

Sail Loft Work Exercise

 

Students work to design and construct the sails for their Sail Cars.

MOI: Student activity with supervision and assistance, Google Sketch.

Race Day Testing

 

Using a fan for wind, students conduct timed races of their sail designs using their finished Sail Cars to see how their designs fare against each other. Design teams present their completed reports and discuss their designs and changes they would make after reviewing their test results. 

MOI: Student activity with supervision and assistance, student group report presentation and classroom discussion.

Optional Lesson: KidWind Project (Wind Turbines)

Wind Turbines are Sails  

 

Using the same concepts and design process learned earlier, students learn that wind turbines used to generate electricity utilitze the same physics and design principles used to design and build sails. They then engage in an activity to design the perfect wind turbine, using an online video that explains the concepts of wind turbines. 

KidWind Project (www.KidWind.org) – “Wind 101 Presentation” – concept, design, and use of wind turbines (49 min) https://vimeo.com/51537100

MOI: Video, student activity with supervision and assistance.

KidWind Turbine Construction

 

Students build their KidWind turbines and test performance. Optional enrollment in the RechargeLabs KidWind competition. 

Building the Perfect PVC Wind Turbine by KidWind.org http://www.instructables.com/id/Model-Wind-Turbine-KidWind-Project/

MOI: Student activity with supervision and assistance, student group report presentation and classroom discussion.

 


 
 
Navigation - Lesson 7 | Print |

Topic: Navigation Plotting Worksheets


This lesson is a student work session that allows students to apply all the skills they have developed from the previous lessons. 

US Navy using navigation skillsWorking in groups around a chart, they will solve a series of problems.  For the example provided, we use the 12283 Annapolis Harbor Chart, but you can use any local navigation chart to allow the students to learn and experience the waters in your local area."

Teacher Resources:

Nav Plotting Worksheet - Questions (PDF)

Nav Plotting Worksheet - Answers (PDF)

Link to Online zoomable NOAA Chart 12283 - Annapolis Harbor

Downloadable link to NOAA Chart 12283 - Annapolis Harbor (PDF)

Note: Since this is a student workgroup session, there is no formal lesson plan or Powerpoint for Lesson 7.

Next Lesson


NSHOF STEM Sailing™ logo

 
Science of Sailing - STEM Sailing | Print |

STEM Sailing™ - Navigation


The National Sailing Hall of Fame STEM Sailing Science of Sailing Course is designed for 10th Grade high school students.

Each lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation and lesson plan, plus handouts you can download and print for your students, including worksheets and exams.


Lesson 1 - Introduction to Sailboats

Image from Lesson 1This course will teach students about the components of a sailboat, how they work to propel the boat, and scientific factors that impact a sailboat's performance.

 

Lesson 2 - History of Sailboats

Image from lesson 2Students will learn how sailboat designs have evolved and improved over hundreds of years. They will also begin to understand why certain designs have succeeded and why others have failed.

 

Lesson 3 - How a Sailboat Works

lesson3Students will learn about the different forces on a boat and how they all work together. They will understand how sail aerodynamics affects boats with different designs.

 

Lesson 4 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Type

lesson4After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the various rigs.

 

Lesson 5 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Speed & Buoyancy

image from lesson 5After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the rig they chose for the sailboat design. They will also understand the equations to make sure their boat is built within the necessary parameters to ensure seaworthiness.

 

Lesson 6 - How a Sailboat Works: Sails

image from lesson 6After this lesson, students should be able to determine the final piece of their sailboat design, the sails. After reviewing how sails generate speed for a sailboat, they will learn how to generate speed for their boat while also taking into account the many other factors affected by a boat’s sail area.

 

Lesson 7 - Sailboat Design Project

US Navy using navigation skillsAs a final exercise for the class, student groups will create a basic sailboat design and prepare a report that identifies the specifications of the boat and the data used to calculate those specifications. The report will also provide discussion as to the intended use of the vessel and why their design is optimally suited to that use, as well as a comparison to other boat types.

 


NSHOF STEM Sailing™ logo

 
Navigation - STEM Sailing | Print |

STEM Sailing™ - Navigation

The National Sailing Hall of Fame STEM Sailing Navigation on Land and at Sea Course is designed for 10th Grade high school students.

Each lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation and lesson plan. There are also handouts you can download and print for your students, including worksheets and exams.

 

 


Lesson 1 - History of Charts & Maps

Image from Lesson 1An introduction to charts and maps, whey they exist and their importance in our history and current life.

 

Lesson 2 - Deciphering Charts & Maps

Image from lesson 2Introduces students to learning how to read, decode, and decipher a nautical chart and topographic map.

 

Lesson 3 - Three Norths & Variation

lesson3Explains to students the differences in the three different ways to determine north. From this, they will be able to understand the concept and importance of magnetic declination or variation.

 

Lesson 4 - Magnetic Compass

lesson4Explains the science behind how a magnetic compass works and gives them the opportunity to practice taking bearings using a hand-bearing magnetic compass.

 

Lesson 5 - Bearing Triangulation

image from lesson 5Students will learn how to determine their location by triangulation. They will accomplish this by taking bearings of surrounding objects. This lesson will build on their work with the hand-bearing compass and demonstrate one of the primary uses of a compass.

 

Lesson 6 - Dead Reckoning

image from lesson 6Students will learn how to navigate by determining their expected future position based on current course and speed. After learning how to properly take a fix using both GPS and visual bearings, this introduces the concept of time, speed, distance, and direction.

 

Lesson 7 - Navigation Plotting

US Navy using navigation skillsThis lesson is a student work session that allows students to apply all the skills they have developed from the previous lessons.

 

Lesson 8 - GPS (with Exam Review)

image from lesson 8Students know how to use GPS, but will now learn how GPS actually works. Understanding the history and development of GPS is critical to allowing the students to look at the concept as an innovator or entrepreneur. Every day people are discovering ways to make our lives easier through GPS and this lesson aims to provide the students with a foundation behind the science.

 

EXAMS

Navigation Pre-Test (PDF)

Navigation Quiz (PDF)

Navigation Final Test (PDF)

TEACHERS: For Answer Keys to these tests, please send an email to education@nshof.org.


NSHOF STEM Sailing™ logo

 
Science of Sailing - STEM Sailing | Print |

STEM Sailing™ - Navigation


The National Sailing Hall of Fame STEM Sailing Science of Sailing Course is designed for 10th Grade high school students.

Each lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation and lesson plan, plus handouts you can download and print for your students, including worksheets and exams.


Lesson 1 - Introduction to Sailboats

Image from Lesson 1This course will teach students about the components of a sailboat, how they work to propel the boat, and scientific factors that impact a sailboat's performance.

 

Lesson 2 - History of Sailboats

Image from lesson 2Students will learn how sailboat designs have evolved and improved over hundreds of years. They will also begin to understand why certain designs have succeeded and why others have failed.

 

Lesson 3 - How a Sailboat Works

lesson3Students will learn about the different forces on a boat and how they all work together. They will understand how sail aerodynamics affects boats with different designs.

 

Lesson 4 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Type

lesson4After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the various rigs.

 

Lesson 5 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Speed & Buoyancy

image from lesson 5After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the rig they chose for the sailboat design. They will also understand the equations to make sure their boat is built within the necessary parameters to ensure seaworthiness.

 

Lesson 6 - How a Sailboat Works: Sails

image from lesson 6After this lesson, students should be able to determine the final piece of their sailboat design, the sails. After reviewing how sails generate speed for a sailboat, they will learn how to generate speed for their boat while also taking into account the many other factors affected by a boat’s sail area.

 

Lesson 7 - Sailboat Design Project

US Navy using navigation skillsAs a final exercise for the class, student groups will create a basic sailboat design and prepare a report that identifies the specifications of the boat and the data used to calculate those specifications. The report will also provide discussion as to the intended use of the vessel and why their design is optimally suited to that use, as well as a comparison to other boat types.

 


NSHOF STEM Sailing™ logo

 
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