Richmond Yacht Club’s STEMsail program graduates first class


These young students really sailed through this class.

On Sunday, the first class of STEMsail students celebrated the completion of a pilot program funded by the Richmond Yacht Club Foundation.

The clever after-school program introduces kids from Richmond area schools to sailing while also delivering lessons on science, technology, engineering and math. And a young sailor must learn such subjects while measuring wind, buoyancy, sail area, marine debris and land and sea breezes, according to the Richmond Mayor’s Office, which promoted the program and attended the graduation.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Richmond Yacht Club called the event a success. It said RYC Juniors joined Helms Middle School students for four weeks of sailing and learning STEM concepts.

The video below is a teaser released by the STEMsail and offers a glimpse into program.

Sunday’s graduation took place aboard the Derek M. Baylis (DMB) research vessel, which was donated for the event by its designer Tom Wylie.

Volunteer instructors for the program included Merrill Pierce, Dan Brandt, Mollie Robinson, Chad Freitas, and Joe Carter, according to the Richmond Yacht Club.

“This team gave a huge amount of time getting certified to teach the STEM program, planning the classes, and teaching the kids on and off the water,” the Yacht Club’s statement said.

RYC member Wayne Koide created STEMsail for that very purpose: to provide the community a fun, science based sailing program.

The Richmond Yacht Club is located at 351 Brickyard Cove Road in Richmond.

All photos and the video courtesy of the Richmond Yacht Club. To see more photos, visit the Richmond Yacht Club’s Facebook page here.