SEATTLE – Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation‘s 10th and newest brand, announced it is tailoring Fathom’s July 17 Dominican Republic voyage to the exploration and study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Fathom is committed to increasing interest in these topics to help build confidence among children and young adults to pursue and succeed in STEM studies. The brand will also host this year’s highly anticipated Clean Tech Competition, a unique worldwide research and design challenge for pre-college youth.
Presenting an ideal venue for learning, the seven-day charter sailing will equip educators of all grades, as well as staff members of colleges specializing in teacher education, with the tools they need to change the course of the future and highlight the importance of STEM in their curriculums. The voyage will also provide a stimulating environment for school-aged travelers to unleash and pursue their interest in STEM outside of a traditional classroom setting.
Renowned Scientist and Educator Collaborating on Programming
For the STEM-focused voyage, Fathom is working alongside scientist and educator Ray Ann Havasy, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL), to develop the interactive workshops for educators and scholastic sessions for school-aged travelers. Dr. 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 in her career when Dr. Havasy worked for the Dinosaur Society, she served as advisor to Steven Spielberg in the making of Jurassic Park. Following filming, Spielberg donated the dinosaurs and props to the Society and Dr. Havasy created an international traveling exhibit called “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,” said Havasy. “It is a great opportunity for them and we are so delighted to be able to pilot this unique program with Fathom.”
According to Dr. Havasy, practical hands-on activities and engaging, interactive learning environments are imperative to successfully inspiring interest in STEM learning. The programs she is developing for the Fathom sailing will emphasize those principles and will feature the following:
- Project based learning
- Hands-on science activity ideas and demonstrations
- STEM questioning techniques
- Earth science
- Endangered species
This first-of-its-kind STEM cruise will host the Clean Tech Competition, which focuses on the scientific understanding of real-world issues and the integration of environmentally responsible energy sources. Talented students from around the world gather once a year to showcase their creative solutions based on an issue grounded in core technological competency areas and focuses on the next great engineering challenges. The competition is designed to foster a deeper understanding of STEM-related concepts, recognize outstanding talent, and prepare the next generation of globally competitive innovators. This year’s challenge focuses on developing a meaningful solution to help “Make an Impact” by offsetting humans’ negative effects on the planet. The winning team will receive an award of $10,000.
Not only will the winning team earn a monetary prize but they will also be able to develop an ongoing relationship with a professor who will serve as a long-time mentor and assist them in furthering their work and education.
“We are honored to host the first ever STEM sailing and be a part of such a highly respected international competition led by our world’s young scientists, engineers and innovators,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “We are eager to see their world-changing ideas, while giving likeminded educators and students an opportunity to connect and make a difference in the local communities of the Dominican Republic.”
STEM Activities Augmented by Social Impact Experiences
As with other social impact trips to the Dominican Republic, Fathom’s on-ground activities will include exchanges between U.S. and Dominican teachers to help them integrate more STEM curriculum into their schools. In addition to this aspect of the cruise, all Fathom travelers will have the opportunity to work alongside Fathom’s Dominican partners and communities to learn, share and give back in a hands-on way.
Fathom offers a broad range of authentic impact activities – focusing on education, environment, and economic development. The brand has developed close partnerships with organizations with deep roots in the Dominican Republic so the activities travelers participate in will have an immediate and lasting impact, tailored specifically to what each community needs most. Fathom travelers can participate in a wide range of exciting impact activities both onboard and on-ground, while exchanging cultures and customs with Dominican families. Specific impact activities include building water filters for Dominican homes; helping a women’s cooperative produce artisan chocolates; improving homes and common areas in impoverished communities; assisting arts and crafts entrepreneurs; participating in community English-language retention activities; and supporting reforestation efforts.
Fathom’s STEM sailing is a first of its kind in which educators can learn, share and motivate each other – and continuing their education credentials and supporting talented pre-college youth from around the world. They may do all this while collectively impacting the lives of thousands of Dominicans through organized social impact activities. Prices for the seven-day STEM trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,265 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies.