THE 1851 Trust has announced plans to expand its educational programme.
The charity uses sailing to promote STEM learning (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as well as providing young people with practical experience crewing at sea.
Chief executive officer Ben Cartledge said: ‘This academic year is set to be busier than ever with plans to expand our roadshow programme and develop our online STEM crew education resources for schools.’
A key focus of the expansion will be to update the Tech Deck Centre. The updated facility will be available to schools from 2019 and will provide an interactive hands-on workshop experience.
With Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie as patron the organisation is looking to utilise the world renowned America’s Cup as a vehicle to expand its programme and inspire young people.
‘We are at the beginning of an exciting new challenge to bring the science, technology and innovation of the 36th America’s Cup, sailing’s pinnacle event, alive for young people across the UK and further afield,’ explained Mr Cartledge.
The expansion is to target children who may not ordinarily be able to access sailing as an activity.
‘We are launching programmes to reach new groups of young people. This will include a STEM club to support looked after children and Sailwise – a programme targeting primary school children which uses sailing as a vehicle to educate on the importance of nutrition and keeping healthy,’ added Mr Cartledge.
Since being established four years ago more than 90,000 young people regionally and nationally have been supported by the charity. In the last academic year roadshows have doubled, 10,773 hours of learning have been delivered, 2,700 students have engaged in Tech Deck activities and 138 local youngsters have achieved their Royal Yachting Association level 1 and 2 qualifications.
The latest development is part of an ongoing expansion for the charity which will see new employment opportunities including teaching staff, digital leaders and programme coordinators.
Trust Patron, Sir Ben Ainslie, said: ‘The trust has grown enormously since 2014 and is building a legacy to inspire a generation of scientists, engineers and sailors.’