US Sailing’s STEM Education Initiative was launched in 2012 to inspire sailing programs and school to utilize sailing as an educational platform, but sailing has been inspiring us to think well before that.
The core program elements – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – helped guide the world’s most famous physicist Albert Einstein toward his amazing discoveries.
Around 1900, a cheeky Swiss patent clerk wrote to a friend about four scientific papers he had been working on in his spare time. He described them as revolutionary, claiming they would one day modify the “theory of space and time”.
The then 18-year-old had just learnt to sail but maybe physics wasn’t the only thing on the mind of the budding genius when he regularly ventured out onto the Alpine lakes of Switzerland. His crew was the daughter of his landlady Suzanne Markwalder. According to Markwalder, when the breeze dropped and the sails sagged, Einstein would whip out his notebook and begin scribbling away.