Twenty-two days in twenty-two feet – Solo adventure in the Atlantic
A TEACHING IDEA FOR MONITORING A REGATTA
During the 2021-2022 school year, the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the Barcelona Ocean Sailing Foundation (FNOB Catalan initials), together with 36 schools and more than 5,200 students from all over Catalonia and the Canary Islands embarked on a unique educational programme: monitoring the Mini Transat 2021 ocean regatta.
Once again, monitoring an ocean regatta was the guiding theme of a global education programme and it showed that working on projects in the classroom could be a great tool for motivating student learning and interest.
The regatta, which is held every two years, is a solo sailing challenge, where men and women compete on board a 6.5-metre boat – the mini. Quite a setting for self-improvement and adventure that turns the protagonists into role models, even idols, in the eyes of the students.
THE ATLANTIC REGATTA AND THE CLASSROOM
A few days before the 2021-2022 school year began, the starting signal was given for the Mini Transat 21 in Les Sables-d’Olonne (France), with a stopover on the island of Palma and the end of the regatta on the Caribbean island of Guadalupe.
The 90 people who set off included 11 sailors from the FNOB Base Mini, This encouraged the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the FNOB to develop the education programme “Twenty-two days in twenty-two feet – Solo adventure in the Atlantic“ so schools could sponsor a sailor and learn through them what this adventure entailed.
NEW CHALLENGES FOR WORKING ON THE SEA, HUMAN BEINGS AND SAILING
During the first term, new challenges were set and grouped into three thematic areas: planet sea, human being and sailing. Each challenge was tackled from different areas to facilitate overall work and skill work.
In this way, by monitoring the regatta and their sponsored sailor, students were able to learn more about aspects of technology, oceanography, history, life on board, food, the ocean and lots more.
We’ve worked on various environmental subjects and also values, trying to instil effort, work, humility, sacrifice and perseverance, all values that are difficult to acquire. (Lluís Vives School)
The fact the yachtsmen and women crossed Atlantic on their own enabled students to understand that values such as effort, perseverance and the desire to succeed are essential for achieving the dreams that many of those men and women had when they set out, and they became positive role models for the students.
Photo: Decroly School
ACTIVITIES AT THE MUSEUM AND THE FNOB
Among other subjects, students worked on what constructing the image of the world since the arrival in and trade with America during the 18th and 19th centuries has meant for humanity, as well as exploring the world of celestial navigation.
Visiting the FNOB Base Mini dock also aroused the interest of children and young people, who were able to go on board a Mini 6.50 like the ones making the Atlantic crossing.
Thanks to the swimming club Club Natació Barcelona’s collaboration in the project, many boys and girls were able to put themselves in sailors’ shoes and get a taste of different sea sports.
At the end of the project, the students were able to talk to the yachtsman or woman they were sponsoring, ask them about everything they wanted to know and, in that way, round of the work done.
Photo: Arrels School
A GREAT EXPERIENCE
The teaching teams rated participation in the educational project very highly, especially the content of the challenges, as they fitted in perfectly with the curriculum and easily applied in the application in the classroom.
Among other aspects, teachers highlighted the fact that the regatta was a real event: “This facilitates student motivation, because it’s stimulating, motivating, exciting and an experience for them, which allows work on values associated with the sea and sailing, and, therefore, improves learning.”
The result of the work carried out over four months, and sponsoring the sailors who took part in the regatta, stirred the curiosity and emotions of the students, who shared the adventure of their protagonists at first hand.
It has been a good experience for the students, as they have been introduced to a world they didn’t know. They enjoyed being able to learn about the sailor’s experience. (IE Mar Mediterrània).
The sailors also gave their evaluations of participating in the education programme.
I am very happy to be able to make my small contribution. I can see in the answers of the young and older children what it has meant for them to participate in the education programme. In all the schools where I have done the closing act, I’ve been personally thanked by the teachers and management. It has been a very rewarding experience for me. Raising awareness of the sea and ocean sailing from my point of view and in the first person has been a way to take the youngest children sailing with me… so that they could find out what it feels like when you sail in the middle of the ocean, how you have to prepare yourself and everything you can learn for later. We can apply all that to life.
I think this programme is essential and so it should be to try to bring this culture a little closer to new generations.
It has been a pleasure to take part in this project with the schools. I remember the impact Gerard Marín’s figures had on me, for example, when I was little, and the excitement they conveyed. The children have been super involved, really done an incredible job monitoring the competition, and the teachers have too of showing and doing the activities, both for the sailing part and for the values that are transmitted. It is very rewarding for me to see and feel the children’s excitement and share it with them. For my part it has been a pleasure to be part of it. Many thanks to all those who have made this project possible.
AN EXHIBITION OF THE WORK DONE
The result of the work done on the basis of the challenges put to the students was shared in a virtual exhibition. This is a good collection and testimony to the experience.
You can consult all the activities carried out here:
Schools were able to enjoy a teacher training session. Various activities were also carried out as part of the Museum and the FNOB education programme, such as