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Sandown Bay Academy visit the 1851 Trust's Tech Deck

The innovative education centre brings STEM alive with help from Land Rover BAR, the British America's Cup sailing team

Posted by Charley Rogers | September 26, 2017 | Teaching

The TECH DECK and Education Centre in Portsmouth, run by the 1851 Trust, provides schools with an exciting, STEM-focused, half-day trip to the home of Land Rover BAR, the professional British America’s Cup sailing team, led by Sir Ben Ainslie.

The free visit offers students a unique, behind-the-scenes experience, enabling them to get close to the boats, people and technologies in development at Land Rover BAR. The visit will help pupils relate the real-life challenges faced by the team to their STEM learning at school.

Pupils can experience a range of hands-on exhibits and test their own ingenuity by taking part in one of a choice of curriculum-linked workshops. The entire visit is hosted by one of the 1851 Trust’s experienced STEM teachers and provides a unique opportunity for pupils to experience being in the base of a working sports team.

In 2017, the 1851 Trust hosted 113 school groups, and we spoke to Mr Stuart Johnson, a teacher at Sandown Bay Academy on the Isle of Wight, who brought two groups in the summer term:

It is such a unique school trip and there was so much enthusiasm from pupils and parents after the trip, so we are definitely planning a return visit this academic year. - Stuart Johnson, Sandown Bay Academy

“We all really enjoyed the visits to the TECH DECK, myself included! It was very worthwhile and the pupils learned all about the America’s Cup and the British campaign led by Sir Ben Ainslie. They were interested in the sporting angle, but they also drew knowledge from the STEM elements and could see how they could apply this to a wider context. In addition to exploring the interactive exhibits and climbing in the hull of an early model of the race boat, the pupils took part in a Wind & Sails workshop. The students loved this because they were able to test their sail designs in the wind tunnel, which is an exciting piece of equipment they don’t normally have the chance to use in school. Just having the chance to visit such an impressive building had a real impact too; it helped the students to aspire to something beyond where they live and appreciate the vast world of opportunities out there for them. It is such a unique school trip and there was so much enthusiasm from pupils and parents after the trip, so we are definitely planning a return visit this academic year. I have already recommended a visit to the TECH DECK to several teachers including our Heads of Science and Technology.”

The TECH DECK and Education Centre is run by the 1851 Trust, official charity of Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup sailing team led by 4-times Olympic medallist Sir Ben Ainslie. To book your free visit online go to www.1851trust.org.uk/visit-the-tech-deck  

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