Interdisciplinary Learning through the ‘Vendee Globe 2016’

Last week, students in Grade 6 started an exciting new unit, following Rich Wilson, an American skipper, in his attempt to complete the Vendée Globe 2016: a solo, non-stop, around-the-world sailing race. This race is widely acknowledged to be the single most challenging race in sailing! Students will be following this race throughout the rest of the term, looking at a variety of content, concepts, activities and projects in both Science and Humanities, and most importantly, looking at how specific disciplinary knowledge from each of these subjects can be synthesised to demonstrate interdisciplinary understanding.

Students began the week by discussing, designing and building their own sailboats, after studying the schematics of The Great American IV, the 60’ monohull yacht that Rich Wilson is racing . They then raced their boats across the swimming pool, with a nail-biting finale race between the top three contenders. Student reflections on this activity showed that they enjoyed working together in their boat construction, but many would like another go at designing their boat, thinking more about mass and stability rather than speed.

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