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Fathom cruise will foster science, tech, engineering, math studies

Fathom cruise will foster science, tech, engineering, math studies
Fathom is tailoring its July 17 Dominican Republic voyage to the exploration and study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The charter sailing (also open to booking by the general public) is aimed at raising interest in these topics to help build confidence among children and young adults to pursue and succeed in STEM studies.

The cruise also will host this year’s Clean Tech Competition, a worldwide research and design challenge for pre-college youth.

The seven-day trip is planned to equip educators of all grades, as well as staff members of colleges specializing in teacher education, with the tools to change the course of the future and highlight the importance of STEM in their curricula. The voyage also will provide a stimulating environment for school-aged travelers to pursue their interest in STEM outside of a traditional classroom setting.

Fathom is working with scientist and educator Ray Ann Havasy, Ph.D., director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, to develop the interactive workshops for educators and scholastic sessions for school-aged travelers.

Havasy has dedicated her life to educating youth about the wonders of science and how to apply scientific knowledge. Her own career demonstrates how STEM expertise can be applied in fascinating ways. Early on, when Havasy worked for the Dinosaur Society, she served as adviser to Steven Spielberg in the making of 'Jurassic Park.' Spielberg then donated the dinosaurs and props to the society and Havasy created an international traveling exhibit, 'The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.'

'It is so exciting that educators will learn while on board and then teach other educators in the Dominican Republic about STEM,' Havasy said, adding her delight at being able to pilot this program with Fathom.

The programs Havasy is developing for Fathom emphasize hands-on science activities and demonstrations and project-based learning, with topics including dinosaurs, weather, STEM questioning techniques, earth science and endangered species.

The Clean Tech Competition focuses on the scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources. This year's challenge is about developing a meaningful solution to help 'make an impact' by offsettings humans' negative effects on the planet.

The winning team will receive $10,000. They also will be able to develop a relationship with a professor who serves as a long-time mentor.

'We are eager to see their world-changing ideas, while giving like-minded educators and students an opportunity to connect and make a difference in the local communities of the Dominican Republic,' said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp.

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