Lake Stewardship and STEM Education at Community Sailing Center in Burlington, VT

Photo Credit: Community Sailing Center By: Ryan Robinson, Executive Director, Community Sailing Center (CSC) and Jen Guimaraes, Associate Director CSC

The Community Sailing Center’s (CSC) Floating Classroom is an educational  program that uses sailing as a medium to teach science and stewardship. Our courses are three hours in duration and split up in two groups. Half the day is spent sailing and the other half on-shore doing hands-on experiential science and stewardship lessons.

Education Director, Ryan Robinson works with classroom teachers and school district curriculum coordinators to design and implement the program to fit each teacher’s needs. Now in its 6th year, Floating Classrooms has had the most successful programming to date. Floating classrooms has incorporated modules from US Sailing’s Reach curriculum since 2012.In 2014, the program will serve 942 young Vermonters, primarily through our initiative with the Burlington School District’s six elementary schools. The program uses two Reach modules  along with a CSC designed curriculum aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and additional environmental education lessons for a strategic learning experience. We use US Sailing’s Reach Modules 2 and 6 to teach the basics of buoyancy and marine debris elevating our program quality and accomplishing curricular needs of the partnering schools. Of the 942 Floating Classroom students, 726 participated in US Sailing’s Reach program; 166 utilized Reach Module 2 and 560 utilized Reach Module 6.

Rather than coming for one visit each school year the CSC is working with teachers on a multi-visit format, including a visit to the school in the winter and a return in the spring for a year-long program that creates a lasting impact on students’ learning.

Our initiative with the Burlington School District is to provide every 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader with three years of curriculum and education built on inquiry and exploration. This year we are serving a combination of 4th and 5th graders which will lead to a healthier future for Lake Champlain and a community focused on stewardship. There will be an entire generation of people in our community who have lived, learned, and played on Lake Champlain. We are proud to support the efforts of US Sailing’s Reach program to further strengthen the lessons individuals can learn through sailing and stewardship.


csc-logoRyan Robinson, Executive Director Jen Guimaraes, Associate Director

Community Sailing Center

Lake Champlain: Burlington, Vermont