Sail for Education: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q. Who are these students?

A. All of the students who sail are enrolled in the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) STEM Program (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). They have been taught using the NSHOF curriculum posted on our Education page - click here to view the curriculum .

Q. What will they learn?

A. The students will be observing or applying concepts they have learned in the classroom. Examples include [INSERT 2 OR 3 DIFFERENT EXAMPLES HERE].

Q. How is the day structured?

A. Each day students will have half a day of classroom instruction, followed by half a day of sailing.

Q. Are the students learning the physics of sailing and/or learning how to sail?

A. Students will be learning about the physics, science, math and other STEM related areas as well as sailing. Some of the students have sailed before, although most have never been on the water.

Q. How many students and instructors will be on my boat?

A. This can vary, depending on your boat's size, design and space above decks. There will always be a “coach” onboard who has been through a background check and has been approved by AACPS. These people are responsible for the students. We also have experienced sailing volunteers and/or hired crew for the remaining help each skipper or captain needs to assist with their boat.

Q. Must I provide access to belowdecks cabins & quarters?

A. That is solely up to you.

Q. Will there be adults aboard who already know the students? Will the students already know each other?

A. The students will know some of the coaches, depending on how far into the summer bridge program your boat is being used. The students come from two high schools in the county, so some will know each other and some will not. We split up students so that there will be an equal amount from each school on every boat.

Q. How will students be prepared to know what to expect on-board my boat?

A. Students will be prepared in a classroom setting, and reminded and prompted while on-board.

Q. What is the training and background of the instructors?

A. All of our instructors are certified through either US Sailing or ASA and have at least a basic keelboat instructor certification.

Q. What do I do if one of the students feels seasick?

A. We have an emergency plan in place for a seasick student, as well as for other emergencies. We have seasickness remedy that we offer the parents to sign off on, giving us permission to administer. We also use a RHIB in case of emergency that can return a sick student to the dock.

Q. What are the safety precautions?

A. Each student is required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD. WE PROVIDE ALL PFDS FOR STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS. We maintain a comprehensive safety protocol that is updated each year. Coaches are required to attend a briefing of the safety protocol prior to the start of the summer program.

Q. What about First Aid kits?

A. We provide our own 1st Aid kit.

Q. Under what conditions would we abandon the outing? And whose call is that?

A. We will sail as long as it is safe. The Education Program Associate makes the call in consultation with the skippers. The safety protocol outlines the conditions under which sailing would be abandoned.

Q. What about insurance considerations?

A. The program is covered by the Gowrie Group Burgee Program held by the NSHOF. We always require that anyone participating have liability insurance on their boat and that they complete a standard loan agreement, which can be viewed by clicking here. [LINK TO COPY OF AGREEMENT]

Q. Who has participated in the past?

A. We have used [INSERT NUMBER HERE] boats in the last three seasons, including boats from Chesapeake Bay Charters, Annapolis Sailing School and J World Annapolis.

Q. How many hours of sailing per day?

A. Sailing time is from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Q. Do we need to bring crew?

A. If you are more comfortable with your own crew and they are able to help you out, we encourage you to bring them, but it is not required. We have sufficient volunteers and coaches who can act as crew, and the students are capable enough to help with specific crewing tasks, including raising & lowering sails, sail trim, etc.

Q. Are there facilities at NSHOF's docks if I am staying aboard my boat overnight?

A. Yes. We have shore power and water hookups at the docks. We also have restrooms, a shower, and WiFi available in the building.

STEM Sailing at the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Welcome! Below are links to our educational programs, resources and news (also accessible from our STEM Education Menu to the right).

The STEM Sailing Initiative is part of the National Sailing Hall of Fame's mission to engage sailing's next generation. We believe that STEM Sailing makes an important contribution to the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education initiative, enhancing the skills of our future research, engineering and high-tech U.S. workforce.

NSHOF STEM Sailing Curriculum & Resources


STEM Sailing Science Curriculum - The Science of Sailing

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of physics and mathematics concepts in the Science of Sailing
  • Apply these concepts to designing a sailboat

Timing: Eight 90-minute sessions (can alternatively be presented in 16 45-minute or 24 30-minute segments)


STEM Sailing Math Curriculum - Navigation

Each of these lessons are a 90 minute lesson plan. They can be broken down fairly easily into two 45-minute plans.


In past Consortiums, Educators from around the country have collaborated — virtually and in person — with Scientists, Engineers, Sailing/Marine Industry Professionals and each other — to discover, develop and implement new ways to use sailing as a vehicle to teach lessons and skills that relate directly to core curriculum goals.



From partnerships with local schools, to after-school programs that engage troubled youth, and much more... case studies, weblinks and other resources to give educators ideas, plans and connections enabling the Sailing community to help Educators achieve their Math & Science learning objectives.

Non-STEM Learning Resources


Learning American History Through Sailing
The history of the United States is intricately interwoven with sailing history. The Learning American History Through Sailing Initiative will illustrate the crucial connection between sailing and the growth of American culture, economy and nationalism.


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