Set Sail Learn-4th Grade

The Treasure Island Sailing Center (TISC) is now on the cutting edge of experiential STEM education, hosting 4th grade classes for developmentally appropriate lessons where students get to sail and learn about the bay. Through our Set Sail Learn program, TISC is breaking new ground for the sport of sailing in San Francisco by introducing  roughly 1,300 youth to the wind and waves of San Francisco Bay every year.  Set Sail Learn is made possible by a significant grant from the St. Francis Sailing Foundation.

The St. Francis Sailing Foundation (StFSF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the general mission to raise and grant money to deserving sailors and organizations that promote sailing, racing competition and maritime education. StFSF supports organizations that put thousands of underserved youth and disabled sailors on the water in enrichment programs that teach sailing, life lessons, and science utilizing sailing. Set Sail Learn is the largest program ever sponsored by StFSF. StFSF also promotes competitive sailing and US Olympic Sailing Team development, with support of serious Olympic athletes, beginning Olympic hopefuls, and junior sailors.

Set Sail Learn is an innovative initiative engaging fourth graders to learn about all things related to the San Francisco Bay as well as the basic principles of sailing,” said Carolyn Patrick, President of the St. Francis Sailing Foundation. “This is an investment in the future of our city’s children. Many of the city’s school children are being exposed to the Bay for the first time, opening doors to learning in a stimulating, natural and fun environment. St. Francis Sailing Foundation is proud to partner with Treasure Island Sailing Center to make this program possible,”

Other sponsors for 2017-18 are the TK Foundation, The Mellam Foundation and Colocation America Foundation.

With a range of dynamic hands-on lessons on and off the water, TISC instills valuable 21st century skills in an inquiry-based learning environment designed to foster an appreciation for our invaluable shared natural resource – the Bay. The Set Sail Learn program offers the flexibility to choose from three STEM based programs: Ecology of the Bay, Engineering Maritime History, and Power of the Wind.  Each Set Sail Learn program runs as a one-day, four-hour long program.

How to Register

To schedule your class for Set Sail Learn, please complete and submit the registration form via email: or Fax: (415) 421-2208. Partial and full scholarships are available based on school’s “Free and Reduced Meal Plan” percentages. Please contact us to see if your school qualifies for a Set Sail Learn Scholarship.

Mon – Thur from 9:00am – 1:00pm or 10:00am – 2:00pm


R. McCullough Dianne Feinstein Elementary School

I LOVE TISC. This is the first field trip of the year for us every year. It is a fabulous introduction to adaptations, food chains/web and the things organisms need in order to survive. We refer back to what we learn on this field trip in Science all year long. In addition to the scientific knowledge my students take away, they also have such an incredible experience. Every year my students rave about the amazingly fun time they had sailing on the bay and all the wildlife they got to see. Thank you for this fabulous program!

E. Walden Ulloa Elementary School

The whole program was a huge success for all my students. One student in particular often struggles to focus in class and complete class work. He worked cooperatively with a partner, engineered multiple iterations of a “sail car” and glowed in his success. I’ve never seen him more successful, confident and empowered than he was at TISC.

W. Nadel Argonne Elementary School

Not a single student had anything but great things to say about the experience. They all want to go again. Thank you for providing such a team/group-oriented activity that had a universally unifying effect on my class. TISC not only offered my students an opportunity to do something they had never done before, but it helped them overcome many of the social issues they experience in the classroom.


Anonymous “I loved learning about the ocean and crabs! and I learned stuff i did not know before!”

    Set Sail Learn Program Types

    Ecology of the Bay

    This curriculum focuses on the rich biodiversity of San Francisco Bay’s ecosystem. Amongst the wide array of aquatic life in the Bay, the Dungeness Crab is an essential part of the marine food web. By studying the Dungeness Crab, students will gain an understanding of the complex connections that define an Ecosystem, Adaptation and Habitats.


    Engineering Maritime History

    There is no better way to learn about Watercraft Engineering than by making your own boat and testing its buoyancy. This curriculum takes students directly to the heart of the history of the Bay and of boat building, making the local past tangible. Students will come away from this class able to identify the main factors contributing to buoyancy and the different materials used in watercraft building.

    Power of the Wind

    San Francisco Bay is home to some of the most powerful renewable energy sources: solar, wind and ocean energy. Sailing is unique in its ability to utilize all three of these energy sources. Through sailing as well as classroom activities, students will gain hands-on experience with renewable energy, learning how to harness the power of the wind in unique ways.

    Come visit our Set Sail Learn classroom and see this fantastic sailing simulator! Using a fan, small sail, and some very well greased wheels, these little boats take off across the board! This exhibit is on loan from the Sailing Science Center.