Connecting Sail Training with Mainstream Education
Stuart Birnie – Director of Marine Operations, Bermuda Sloop Foundation
Marann Fengler – Volunteer Coordinator, Los Angeles Maritime Institute
Nick Fleming – Chief Executive, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
Dave Pilla – Ocean Classroom Director, Woodlands Director, Proctor Academy
This workshop will present examples of how sail training can link directly into educational curricula. Utilizing a number of examples from around the world sail training programs will be mapped against core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) along with selections from other key learning areas such as History, English and PDHPE (Personal Development, Health and Physical Education) using a wide variety of national and international curricula examples.
Alongside a career in the television/audio visual industry, Stuart Birnie’s maritime experience includes many years as a volunteer and professional on vessels such as Soren Larsen and Spirit of New Zealand, sailing scows, a brigantine, a Polynesian Voyaging Canoe and two small steamboats. After time as the Chairman of the Sail Training Association of New Zealand and Sailing Manager for the New Zealand Maritime Museum, Stuart became the Senior Captain and Director, Marine Operations of the Spirit of Bermuda for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation in May last year. His qualifications include RYA Ocean Yachtmaster (Instructor), NI Square Rig Master Certificate, and a Certificate in Adult teaching.
Marann Fengler grew up in Southern California, fueled by an innate need for movement and an aversion to gravity. These drives led her to gymnastics, diving, soccer, and various other sports until she finally settled on figure skating. The decision sparked a long career, both as a competitive amateur and as a professional performer and coach. She is a double gold medalist who competed at the highest level of the sport and still teaches three afternoons a week. She had always been drawn to tall ships, but when she saw the film Master and Commander in 2004, she knew she had to sail. She began as a volunteer on the brigantines Irving and Exy Johnson, and has gone on to work on vessels such as Virginia and Lynx. She has sailed on a total of fourteen boats, has been volunteer, paid deckhand, mate, and currently spends too much time at a desk as Volunteer Coordinator for the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. She believes strongly, passionately, and from first-hand experience, in the power of our magnificent vessels to change lives. Her aim is to share sail training and its ideals with youth of all ages for as long as she can have the privilege of doing so.
Nick learned to sail as a youngster with the Sea Scouts and went on his first sail training voyage
at the tender age of 14. After completing a Degree in yacht design, he began his sail training career with Ocean Youth Club in 1993. He has been Chief Executive of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland for the last eight years.
Dave Pilla teaches Wildlife Science, Fisheries and Forestry at Proctor Academy in New Hampshire, where he has been since 1981, and manages the school’s 2500-acre woodlands. Dave is also Director of Ocean Classroom at Proctor Academy. Dave founded the Ocean Classroom program with Bert Rogers in 1993. With Bert, built the partnership that formed the original Ocean Classroom Foundation. He is a former instructor and course director at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. He is a licensed Wildlife Biologist (The Wildlife Society), Forester (Society of American Foresters), and a licensed mariner (USCG Master 100-ton, Aux/Sail).