The Pedagogical Sailboat Erasmus Project

General information for the The Pedagogical Sailboat Erasmus Project

The Pedagogical Sailboat  Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am

Project Title

The Pedagogical Sailboat

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for school education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2018

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

The decline in the number of students who choose scientific careers after completing their secondary education is a serious issue in Europe. Nevertheless, young people are very interested in current scientific discoveries, noticeably those addressing pollution and climate change. One reason for this paradox is that students beginning secondary school see science formally taught at school as less attractive. On the other hand, several studies have shown that students’ access to real research projects (e.g. citizen science) increases the possibilities of improving their interest in science.

The general objective of the “Pedagogical Sailboat” project is to lay foundations that facilitate the interaction between scientific research and education (both formal and non-formal). The sailboat was chosen because it can support the acquisition of multidisciplinary skills and the marine environment around the sailboat is an open-air laboratory for studying the life sciences. Besides, the sailboat is a strong motivating factor for youth as it generates a feeling of freedom and adventure and conveys an environmental message.

Ayam Sailing Europe, an international sailing association, coordinated this project in partnership with a leading research centre, a regional administration and a secondary school.

The consortium has developed a competency framework listing the scientific, technical and cross-disciplinary skills that make it possible to carry out a citizen science campaign onboard a sailboat. The scientists provided the educators with practical information on the skills required to develop each phase of the scientific research process. The sailors described the technical competencies which make it possible to navigate with a sailboat (e.g. use of nautical charts, use and maintenance of the onboard electric systems and simple machines …). The teachers identified the correlation between all these competencies and the corresponding types of learning in the school programs.

As an implementation of the competency framework, three pedagogical modules (scientific, technical, and social) were developed with a common theme: the pollution of aquatic environments by microplastics.

The scientific module enabled students to acquire a good understanding of a scientific article and extract relevant information. The teachers and their students joined a team of researchers during a microplastics’ sampling campaign.

Students from the technical education system learned how to build a microplastics sampler (manta net). Researchers in their future scientific campaigns will use this instrument on board a sailboat.

Social studies’ students prepared a mobility project aimed at accompanying and guiding children with specific needs during a scientific campaign aboard a sailboat. The students were able to understand all the facets of project preparation by carrying out a feasibility study and presenting it to their municipal administration who then agreed to provide funding. The purpose of this mobility trip is to encourage special needs’ children to be as independent as possible in learning situations and to open up new horizons for them.

This project enabled teachers from different disciplines to participate and develop an educational project collaboratively and cooperatively. The teachers worked with researchers who helped them improve their knowledge of the scientific process, which also benefited the students.

The Ayam Sailing Europe association will further develop this project in order to empower teachers to go deeper into the scientific research process (co-created citizen science). This will be done in collaboration with stakeholders from scientific research and secondary education.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 43993 Eur

Project Coordinator

Ayam Sailing Europe AISBL & Country: BE

Project Partners

  • Generalitat Valenciana – Direcció General d’Esport
  • Athénée Royal Louis Delattre