2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Young Mariners STEM Academy
SoundWaters Young Mariners STEM Academy provides a rigorous hands‐on summer learning experience through a STEM-based curriculum, while simultaneously building self-confidence through outdoor water and sailing focused programming for underserved and struggling students. The organization partners with Stamford Public Schools to help with student recruitment, family engagement, and logistical support. These students are entering 5th to 9th grade and are selected and invited to participate based on their need for additional academic support. The goal is to prevent students from falling further behind during the summer (aka, “summer slide”) and launch them into the next school year with experiential knowledge, confidence, and positive momentum. Students are invited to return each summer for increasingly more challenging STEM learning and outdoor experiences.
In July 2020, SoundWaters will launch Sound Science, a summer research program for high school students that focuses on the role kelp and oyster farming can play as nature-based solutions that improve the water quality on Long Island Sound including capturing carbon and excess nitrogen. Students will have access to their own professional research materials and equipment, and learn to set up aquaculture studies of kelp and oysters to test hypotheses about varying growth rates and conditions while examining current issues impacting Long Island Sound.
- Support the five-week Young Mariners Academy summer program, focused on STEM education via sailing for 70 underserved, academically struggling students from Stamford.
- Fund the pilot of Sound Science two-week summer research program for 24 high school students from underserved communities.
- Study the environmental and water quality benefits of kelp and oyster aquaculture, and restoration.
- Conduct an intensive summer academic and enrichment program designed for 125 elementary and middle school children, who are underperforming in core subjects, using sailing as a platform to excite kids about learning and counter the effects of “summer slide.”
- Integrate outdoor, hands-on science education and experiences into each day’s activities, filling an important need for children to connect with their local environment.
- Create lessons and activities to instill confidence when a child is confronted with new challenges; to help students develop strategies for solving problems in math and science; and most importantly, to create, through innovative activities, a desire and excitement for learning. Students learn to sail and swim, build a boat, conduct experiments, keep journals, write creatively, investigate their local environment, and play games.
SoundWaters is a recognized and trusted environmental education organization across the Long Island Sound region, working with 146 schools across 65 communities in Connecticut and New York. They have sustained relationships with communities, schools, businesses, and political leaders for over 30 years based on shared values and trust. They have been awarded a 4-star rating, the highest possible, from Charity Navigator, based on financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.