|Photo by Freeimages.com/Dan MacDonald|
Fathom has announced that the line will devote its July 17 sailing to the Dominican Republic to the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Fathom said it is committed to increasing interest in these topics to help build confidence among children and young adults to pursue and succeed in STEM studies. The brand will also host this year’s Clean Tech Competition, a worldwide research and design challenge for pre-college youth.
The seven-day charter sailing will help equip educators with the tools they need to highlight the importance of STEM in their curriculums, fathom said. The voyage will also allow high school travelers to pursue their interest in STEM studies.
For the STEM-focused voyage, fathom is working alongside scientist and educator Ray Ann Havasy, Ph.D., director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL), to develop the interactive workshops for educators and scholastic sessions for school-aged travelers. Dr. Havasy has dedicated her life to educating youth about the wonders of science and how to apply scientific knowledge. Early in her career when Dr. Havasy worked for the Dinosaur Society, she served as advisor to Steven Spielberg in the making of Jurassic Park. Following filming, Spielberg donated the dinosaurs and props to the Society and Dr. Havasy created an international traveling exhibit called “The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.”
According to Dr. Havasy, practical hands-on activities and engaging, interactive learning environments are imperative to successfully inspiring interest in STEM learning. The programs she is developing for the Fathom sailing will emphasize those principles and will feature the following:
- Project based learning
- Hands-on science activity ideas and demonstrations
- STEM questioning techniques
- Earth science
- Endangered species
The cruise will host the Clean Tech Competition, which focuses on the scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources. Talented students from around the world gather once a year to showcase their creative solutions based on an issue grounded in core technological competency areas. The competition is designed to foster a deeper understanding of STEM-related concepts, recognize outstanding talent, and prepare the next generation of globally competitive innovators. This year’s challenge focuses on developing a meaningful solution to help “Make an Impact” by offsetting humans’ negative effects on the planet. The winning team will receive an award of $10,000.
Not only will the winning team earn a monetary prize but they will also be able to develop an ongoing relationship with a professor who will serve as a long-time mentor and assist them in furthering their work and education.
As with other social impact trips to the Dominican Republic, fathom’s on-ground activities will include exchanges between U.S. and Dominican teachers to help them integrate more STEM curriculum into their schools. In addition to this aspect of the cruise, all fathom travelers will have the opportunity to work alongside fathom’s Dominican partners and communities to learn, share and give back in a hands-on way.
Other impact activities include building water filters for Dominican homes; helping a women’s cooperative produce artisan chocolates; improving homes and common areas in impoverished communities; assisting arts and crafts entrepreneurs; participating in community English-language retention activities; and supporting reforestation efforts.