How do we use the sport of sailing to explain science to school children? That was exactly the question addressed by Spindrift for Schools earlier this week, when Spindrift racing opened the doors of its sailing base in Saint Philibert, Brittany to school children as part of the Fete de la Science, a national event organised by the French Ministry for Education.
Over the course of two days 300 primary school pupils were taken behind the scenes at the team’s base and, through a series of interactive events inspired by sport and ocean racing, there were able to enrich their scientific knowledge and awareness.
It was a rare opportunity for children to see how a high-level sailing team has to prepare in order to face the greatest of challenges, whether that be on international circuits or in world records, as well as understand how sailors solve the scientific problems they may come across.
Across four workshops, that were well received by children and teachers alike, the pupils tackled a variety of different subjects. These ranged from the materials used in the construction of performance racing boats, the Archimedes principle, as well as taking part in workshops that would help explain the weather and sea currents.
The children were also given the opportunity to see what life will be like onboard Spindrift 2 for the twelve Spindrift racing crew who will attempt the Jules Verne Trophy record later this year, including tasting freeze-dried food and trying on foul weather clothing, as well as understanding the watch system and how to desalinate water.