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STEM Sailing™ - Navigation

The National Sailing Hall of Fame STEM Sailing Navigation on Land and at Sea Course is designed for 10th Grade high school students.

Each lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation and lesson plan. There are also handouts you can download and print for your students, including worksheets and exams.



Lesson 1 - History of Charts & Maps

Image from Lesson 1An introduction to charts and maps, whey they exist and their importance in our history and current life.


Lesson 2 - Deciphering Charts & Maps

Image from lesson 2Introduces students to learning how to read, decode, and decipher a nautical chart and topographic map.


Lesson 3 - Three Norths & Variation

lesson3Explains to students the differences in the three different ways to determine north. From this, they will be able to understand the concept and importance of magnetic declination or variation.


Lesson 4 - Magnetic Compass

lesson4Explains the science behind how a magnetic compass works and gives them the opportunity to practice taking bearings using a hand-bearing magnetic compass.


Lesson 5 - Bearing Triangulation

image from lesson 5Students will learn how to determine their location by triangulation. They will accomplish this by taking bearings of surrounding objects. This lesson will build on their work with the hand-bearing compass and demonstrate one of the primary uses of a compass.


Lesson 6 - Dead Reckoning

image from lesson 6Students will learn how to navigate by determining their expected future position based on current course and speed. After learning how to properly take a fix using both GPS and visual bearings, this introduces the concept of time, speed, distance, and direction.


Lesson 7 - Navigation Plotting

US Navy using navigation skillsThis lesson is a student work session that allows students to apply all the skills they have developed from the previous lessons.


Lesson 8 - GPS (with Exam Review)

image from lesson 8Students know how to use GPS, but will now learn how GPS actually works. Understanding the history and development of GPS is critical to allowing the students to look at the concept as an innovator or entrepreneur. Every day people are discovering ways to make our lives easier through GPS and this lesson aims to provide the students with a foundation behind the science.



Navigation Pre-Test (PDF)

Navigation Quiz (PDF)

Navigation Final Test (PDF)

TEACHERS: For Answer Keys to these tests, please send an email to education@nshof.org.

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