US Sailing, the national organizing body for the sport of sailing, has selected Pleasant Bay Community Boating (PBCB) to receive the 2021 Creative Innovations in Programming Award for their popular Sailing & Science Summer Camp program.
The Creative Innovations in Programming Award recognizes those programs, or individuals, who have successfully found new, and different, methods for teaching sailing. The purpose of this award is to highlight those that think “outside the box” and through their ingenuity have further connected their organization to the community.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by US Sailing for our work integrating science and sailing. Our staff has worked hard for years to make this idea come to life”, stated John Dickson, PBCB President.
Pleasant Bay Community Boating’s very successful Sailing & Science Summer Camp program pairs discovery science and exploration with sailing. This program allows students to spend half their day out on the water learning sailing and other boating-related activities, and the other half learning marine science and education curricula.
During science class, campers may make aquariums, care for baby oysters in an upweller, build and race cardboard boats, use a beach seine, observe marine habitats and wildlife such as seals, use microscopes, and measure phytoplankton levels. On the water, they will be sailing, kayaking and rowing, rigging boats and tying knots, along with learning the ‘science’ of sailing.
“We wanted to encourage creative thinking and problem solving to appreciate, for example: the sources of tides, currents, weather and climate; the connection of eelgrass ecosystem health and fisheries; climate impacts on coastal areas; and to overall build new stewards of the sea”’ according to Sarah Griscom, PBCB Science Advisor, who created the Sailing & Science program.
This past summer PBCB collaborated with other organizations to enhance its marine science curricula. Collaborators included: MIT who PBCB collaborated with on a prototype autonomous floating buoy/docking platform project for underwater drones; the National Weather Service for classes on weather and climate; Cape Cod Ocean Community on shark detection technology; the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative; the Center for Coastal Studies; and the Towns of Chatham, Harwich and Orleans on an aquaculture propagation program hosted at PBCB.
A new addition this year to PBCB’s Science & Sailing Camp is its Floating Classroom Research Vessel. The ‘Friend of Pleasant Bay’ is a 37’ long solar-powered pontoon vessel that is the new flagship of PBCB’s marine science education program. Donated by The Friends of Pleasant Bay, she serves as a dedicated research vessel for scientists, an educational platform for Cape Cod children, locals and visitors to the Cape, and is available to other organizations seeking a unique learning experience on Pleasant Bay. The shallow draft of this floating classroom will help students and scientists to access remote areas of the Bay and the near-silent electric motors will allow quiet approach to seals, birds and other wildlife that live on Pleasant Bay. The ‘Friend’ can accommodate up to 29 passengers and crew, including 10 wheelchairs.