Austin sees success with youth rowing program

Friday, July 1, 2022 by Veronica Apodaca The Austin Rowing Club reported on the success of the STEM to Stern program at Monday’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting. STEM at stern, which was brought to

Friday, July 1, 2022 by Veronica Apodaca

The Austin Rowing Club reported on the success of the STEM to Stern program at Monday’s Parks and Recreation Board meeting. STEM at stern, which was brought to the city by the Rowing Club and the Austin-area Boys & Girls Clubs, combines athletics and education. After coming to Austin in January 2022 and continuing through the spring semester to a positive reception, the program is set to continue into next year.

The rowing club had previously partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs to install rowers at its facilities and was ready to collaborate again for STEM to Stern.

“They were a perfect partner because they already had kids after school, and they have transportation, and transportation is key to the success of this program,” the Rowing Club spokesperson said. Jim Ruddy. austin monitor.

As its name suggests, the program takes advantage of the Austin Lakes to incorporate STEM concepts into its work with students. In addition to challenges related to the design of dams and bridges, students were able to discover how rowing uses concepts from physics.

“What’s amazing about the sport of rowing is that it’s a…real world illustration of STEM principles,” said Kevin Reinis, Executive Director of Rowing Club. Monitor. “The physical action of pulling an oar…the angles, the leverage, that power you generate, it’s literally all math, and so kids can learn physics and math and then apply it to themselves- same personally.”

Rowing has been a positive experience for students who may be apprehensive about sports.

“We try to target college kids who can row when they don’t do very well in other sports because it doesn’t require acute hand-eye coordination,” Ruddy said, adding that the sport can “open up the gate”. » for people who do not think they are very athletic.

Additionally, the program targeted students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to immerse themselves in these skills.

“(A) lot of them just haven’t been near the water,” said Bert Garcia, Austin’s STEAM director for Boys & Girls Clubs. Monitor. “These children were predominantly Hispanic and black, and nationally it is … minorities who see (smaller) numbers of children knowing how to swim, simply because traditionally they haven’t had the same opportunities to swim. school. So being able to put them on the water… that’s something that will pay them a lifetime.

With the success of the program over the past spring semester, the two organizations hope to continue it and expand the opportunity to more students. The positive reaction from the students has given the organizers the certainty that this experience will continue to be an enjoyable experience.

“While some students seemed unsure of the whole experience at first, once they got to grips with the boathouse and comfortable on the water, they looked forward to their weekly visits,” Ruddy said. . “When their van driver was indisposed and couldn’t bring them, they let him hear about it the following week. Overall, they learned to work together, stay focused, and love being outdoors in nature.

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