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Fathom Dedicates July Voyage to Science and Math

Sarah Bretz

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Fathom has announced that they are dedicating their July 17 Dominican Republic cruise to STEM, or the study of science, technology, engineering, and math.  The cruise line wants to increase interest and build confidence in the topics among young adults and children, who may end up pursuing a career in one or more of those areas.  Fathom will also host this year’s Clean Tech Competition, a challenge for pre-college youth.

The week-long sailing will equip grade-school educators as well as teacher education college staff members with tools they need to further the emphasis of STEM in their curriculums.  The voyage will also cater to school kids that want to pursue their interest of the technical studies outside of their classroom.

Scientist Collaboration

For the STEM voyage, educator and scientist Dr. Ray Ann Havasy is working alongside the cruise line to develop workshops for educators and sessions for school-aged travelers.  Dr. Havasy has dedicated her life to teaching youth about science and how to apply scientific knowledge in everyday life.  Early in her career, she worked for the Dinosaur Society and served as advisor to Steven Spielberg when he was making Jurassic Park.  After filming, Dr. Havasy created a traveling exhibit called “The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.”  Hands-on activities and interactive learning environments are key to inspiring interest in STEM, according to Dr. Havasy, and the program she’s developing for the sailing will feature the following:

  • Hands-on science activity ideas and demos
  • Project based learning
  • Weather
  • Earth Science
  • STEM questioning techniques
  • Dinosaurs
  • Endangered species

The STEM cruise will also host the Clean Tech Competition, which focuses on the scientific understanding of real world issues and integrating environmentally responsible energy sources.  Students from around the world gather once a year to showcase their solutions based on an issue that they’ve creatively come up with a way to solve.  The competition’s goal is to foster a better understanding of STEM concepts, recognize top talent, and prepare the next generation of innovators.  This year’s challenge focuses on creating a meaningful solution to help “Make an Impact” by offsetting the negative effects that humans have had on the world.  The winning team receives $10,000, as well as an ongoing relationship with a professor who will stay with them long-term to mentor and assist them in future endeavors.

STEM Activities and Social Impact Experiences

As with other social impact trips, Fathom’s activities ashore will include collaboration with US and Dominican teachers to help them integrate more STEM curriculum into their schools.  All travelers will have the opportunity to work alongside the cruise line’s Dominican partners to share, learn, and give back in a hands-on way.

Some of these impact activities for general Dominican Republic sailings include building water filters, helping a women’s cooperative make artisan chocolates, improving homes and common areas, helping arts and crafts entrepreneurs, participating in English-language retention activities, and supporting reforestation efforts.

Prices for the STEM trip start at $1,265 per person.

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