Sailing in the Vendée Globe is a resource created by Science NetLinks to follow the adventures of Skipper Rich Wilson as he sails around the world in a race called the Vendée Globe. The resource has several features to it, including a blog and a map. The blog shares some of the interesting science-related snippets from what Skipper Wilson has written and looks at them in more depth. The map shows the progress of Skipper Wilson as he participates in the race.
In addition to the blog and map, the resource has these sections:
- The Race – provides background information about the Vendée Globe
- The Ship – describes the ship being sailed by Skipper Wilson, the Great American III
- The Skipper – provides some background information about Skipper Wilson
- Educators – give teachers information on how the site can be used
This resource can be used to help engage students in basic scientific concepts by seeing them experienced in “real-world” situations and witnessing exciting new discoveries almost as they occur. The site itself would be an excellent way to enhance units on the oceans, weather, or even the health effects of asthma, since Skipper Wilson suffers from asthma.
Since the blog is written for students, they can use it themselves to get a science-related spin on Wilson’s communications or to navigate over to sitesALIVE! where they can read his observations of life at sea. The map can be used in a number of ways to help enhance student learning. One way would be to have students look at the map to see where Skipper Wilson is on that day and then use that as a starting point to conduct research on that region. Or, the map could even be integrated into a unit on graphing by having students plot the map data on graphs and predict where the boat will be the next day.