Sarah Weldon, from Kendal in The Lake District, is CEO of the Ocean’s Project, a not-for-profit organisation providing free online environmental, geography, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) education to young people aged 5-19 in developed and developing countries.
Between May and September 2015 Sarah will be bringing Vikings and STEM alive during her single-handed Guinness World record attempt to be the first person to row around the entire coastline of Great Britain. Following ancient Viking navigation routes she will compare the lives and landscapes of our Viking ancestors with the modern world. At the same time Sarah’s Great British Viking Quest will explore STEM subjects from modern and historical perspectives using wearable technology and a virtual learning platform. Students and supporters will be able to follow her mammoth journey in real time. In Sarah’s own words:
“I’ll use wearable technology and a virtual learning platform to share every whale sighting, geological fault line, and collected scientific data on things like my poo, nutritional intake, and psychological performance, with platform users, Kickstarter backers, and scientists, worldwide. Some of the psychological tests have been provided by NASA and are used on the International Space Station to monitor the health of astronauts after space walks, so it will be really interesting to see the impacts of life on a boat.”
As well as up to 15 hours of rowing every day when she is at sea, Sarah is making stop-offs during the tour to perform her science comedy What Not to Eat at Sea Live Tour, where you can find out what food she’ll be packing for her 14 week row, the role of microbes on food, superstitions about food on boats, and various sailor’s ailments at sea, amongst other fascinating topics. You can get tickets here.
This project is incredibly exciting, so we’d like to ask you to pledge money to help fund her £35,000 Kickstarter campaign so she can finish building her boat and get it kitted out with all the necessary electronic equipment. Even £1 will get her closer to her goal and enable her to begin this massive undertaking. Remember, Sarah is doing this solo, and stopping off to perform her science show in many locations around the country as well. This is a really tough challenge. To see just how tough, here’s a description from another brilliant woman who did it as part of a team of four for the Around Great Britain Row.
We’ll, hopefully, be catching up with Sarah at The Big Bang Fair in March, at the NEC in Birmingham, where we’ll also have our Science of the Vikings stand. We wish her all the best of luck. And, you lot, get pledging.