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The National Sailing Hall of Fame STEM Sailing Science of Sailing Course is designed for 10th Grade high school students.

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

Lesson 1 - Introduction to Sailboats

Image from Lesson 1This course will teach students about the components of a sailboat, how they work to propel the boat, and scientific factors that impact a sailboat's performance.


Lesson 2 - History of Sailboats

Image from lesson 2Students will learn how sailboat designs have evolved and improved over hundreds of years. They will also begin to understand why certain designs have succeeded and why others have failed.


Lesson 3 - How a Sailboat Works

lesson3Students will learn about the different forces on a boat and how they all work together. They will understand how sail aerodynamics affects boats with different designs.


Lesson 4 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Type

lesson4After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the various rigs.


Lesson 5 - How a Sailboat Works: Hull Speed & Buoyancy

image from lesson 5After this lesson, students should be able to determine the proper hull designs necessary to compliment the rig they chose for the sailboat design. They will also understand the equations to make sure their boat is built within the necessary parameters to ensure seaworthiness.


Lesson 6 - How a Sailboat Works: Sails

image from lesson 6After this lesson, students should be able to determine the final piece of their sailboat design, the sails. After reviewing how sails generate speed for a sailboat, they will learn how to generate speed for their boat while also taking into account the many other factors affected by a boat’s sail area.


Lesson 7 - Sailboat Design Project

US Navy using navigation skillsAs a final exercise for the class, student groups will create a basic sailboat design and prepare a report that identifies the specifications of the boat and the data used to calculate those specifications. The report will also provide discussion as to the intended use of the vessel and why their design is optimally suited to that use, as well as a comparison to other boat types.


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