Rochester Yacht Club Junior Olympics, STEM, and Career Connections


On Friday evening July 29th, 2016 Rochester Yacht Club hosted a Sailing Through STEM Night in conjunction with their Junior Olympic Festival. 100 youth participated in presentations and activities packed with the latest research and technology. Liam Faudree, Junior Sailing Director at Rochester Yacht Club began planning the event about six month about with regular calls with US Sailing.



The Commodore of RYC along with Jennifer Altobelli, RYC Junior Olympic Chair, and Liam Faudree, RYC Junior Sailing Director welcomed youth ages 6-16 that had traveled from as far as Annapolis, MD for the event.


Dr. Cynthia Edinger from University of Rochester Department of Earth and Environmental studies began with an overview on the disciplines of oceanography: Geological, Physical, Chemical, and Biological. She leads a team of graduate and undergraduate researchers using seismic and potential fields methods, signal processing and geospatial tools to probe fundamental Earth processes. They explore hydro-thermal potential and to evaluate earthquake and volcanic hazards. Her favorite part of her job is to study shells and cores to understand the biology and chemistry of the past.  After her presentation she stayed to answer questions form the kids about underwater volcanoes, tsunamis, research, ocean studies, and the great lakes.



Maddy Centurion, Petty Officer US Coast Guard Station Rochester, welcomed the group of young boys and girls. She began by sharing a story of her own father’s recue by the USCG which led her to her career. In Rochester the USCG works closely with US Border Patrol & Customs, and Search in Rescue. It is one of the busiest sections of the USCG in the country. Youth were invited down to take a look at the USCG boats at the docks and check out their equipment.


Presentations followed from Rochester Fire and Rescue Department, Homeland Security, and Boarder Patrolimage(1)along with an up close look at all of their boats and equipment. The kids loved it and so did the parents. RYC prepared several Reach activities for kids to explore traveling from station to station. The evening wrapped up with a raffle and prizes donated by Bic, Zim, and Shoreline Boats.  This was the first time any of the presenters were in Rochester Yacht Club and RYC made them feel at home with BBQ dinner and boat ramp access for Dr. Ebinger’s Kayak.


Special thanks to Liam Faudree for pulling the event together. The kids had blast, learned about a few potential careers in STEM and boating, and all seemed to learn something new.  The rest of the weekend included great sailing in the 420, Opti , Laser, and Open Bic fleets.