SAILING MAKES LEARNING FUN
All Kiwi school children will be able to learn more about sailing through a new schools programme that focuses on the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) associated with harnessing the power of the wind. The Yachting New Zealand-designed programme – Kōkōkaha – Powered by the Wind – was launched in term one 2021, and is aimed at students in years 5-10 but can easily be adapted for older and younger children.
Mostly classroom-based, it’s delivered by teachers, but schools also have an opportunity to go sailing at their local club or waterway so they can put their knowledge about the wind and sailing technology into practice.
Sailing is the first sport to bring this type of online and practical component into the classroom. The programme has been done in collaboration with Sport New Zealand and the Ministry of Education.
Josh Junior – ETNZ sailor, Finn world champion and Olympian says it’s an awesome programme. “It’s great to see kids learning about the wind and how they can harness it to do cool things.
“The wind is always different, it’s interesting, it’s varied day to day and is cool to learn about. For us, we use the wind to power our boat around the race course and go as fast as we can, but the wind can also be used to power wind turbines to make energy. The wind can be used for a lot of things and should be something we understand better.”
Already close to 900 classrooms from 225 schools are involved in Kōkōkaha, which represents roughly 10% of New Zealand schools and more than 20,000 students.
The sailing experiences are being delivered by authorised
Pupils at Royal Oak Primary School discuss designing their own boat. Photo: Yachting New Zealand.
providers around the country and involve children taking to the water in small yachts. Yachting New Zealand has provided three roaming trailers, each with a fleet of yachts, for schools in areas where there aren’t any sailing clubs who can deliver the midweek sailing experiences.
There’s an opportunity for students to utilise their knowledge and design a technology to harness the power of the wind. Entries will be judged by members of the NZL Sailing Team, this country’s top Olympic class sailors, which includes Junior.
For more information visit www.kokokaha-yachting.nz Schools simply need to register on this website to receive the free teacher’s pack and to book their sailing experience.