Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
May 2023
Vol. 6, No. 9
Welcome to the May issue of the Sailing Science Center News! The theme this month is Attitude. We couple that with our spotlight on Maggie Garside Heilman, the poster child for having a great attitude.

Our attitude is like the lenses we wear to see the world. We can change our attitude as quickly as we can put on a new pair of glasses, but most of us are so accustomed to the distortions and scratches in our optics that we fail to notice the problem, and thus the value of a new prescription. For more thoughts on the ways our attitude impacts our lives, check out this month's Leadership Corner: A New Set of Lenses.

A Note on our Publication Date: Regular readers will notice that this month's SSC News came out more than a week past its regular publication date at the beginning of the month. Put succinctly, we have been so busy making news that we haven't had time to write about it. The SSC has a full and ambitious 2023 schedule that we kicked off in April and that continues through the summer. Part of that is the insanely cool week we just spent with the SailGP Inspire team during the first seven days of May. We will have pictures and stories to share about that in the June newsletter.
Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.
― George Bernard Shaw
May Spotlight - Maggie Garside Heilman
Maggie Garside Heilman
Maggie Garside Heilman breaks all the rules for girls and women. Born in Queens, New York, she was the youngest of four children, one of whom is Maggie’s twin sister, an astonishing fact considering how clearly there can be only one Maggie.

Maggie’s love of sailing and being on the water began at about age 7. Her father built an 18-foot, fiberglass-on-wood sailboat in their backyard. She can still see him building the tapered wooden mast and her mother sewing the boat’s main and jib. The boat was painted white with turquoise trim and was named Misty. She recalls the feeling of being on the water during family sails, with her older sister as 1st mate and her brother as 2nd mate. According to Maggie, her mother’s nervousness kept them from ever getting into trouble, leaving only good memories.
Any time I can be on the water, I am always happier than when I'm not.
A man building a sailboat in his back yard
The sailing ended when she was 11 and the family moved to the farmlands of Western New Jersey. Maggie pursued track, softball, and cheerleading in grammar school and high school. Two middle school teachers sparked her interest in science. They made learning fun by getting her to ask questions and to view things in different and creative ways. She particularly liked biology.

Maggie started flying airplanes in high school, getting discounted lessons by way of her waitressing at the airport café, and progressing as far as a cross-country solo. Not satisfied with flying the planes, in college she started jumping out of them, logging scores of jumps. She also got her motorcycle license, which she holds to this day. She survived all her jumps and motorcycle rides, taking away a bachelor's in biology with a concentration in chemistry when she graduated.
Maggie Heilman trimming the spinnaker on her Open 570
Out of college, Maggie found work in the chemistry labs of pharmaceutical companies. She migrated to the business side, marketing scientific apparatuses for the Education Division of the Ohaus Scale Company. She later joined their California division, teaching the metric system to K-8 students. She then spent about 10 years at Applied Biosystems, in Foster City. For the past 26 years, Maggie has worked as a residential real estate agent on the mid-peninsula.

Contemplating what she would do when her daughter left for college, and influenced by boating experiences during a trip to Southeast Asia, Maggie decided to get back into sailing. In 2018 she learned about sunset sails at a Sequoia Yacht Club event and was soon on a boat. Today she is an active racer and half-owner of a sporty 18-foot sailboat called an Open 5.70.
I just always love adrenaline rushes.
Taylor Lacey + Jeff Grudin + Melissa Grudin + Maggie Heilman
At Svendsen's Spring Fling Boat Show on April 16th. L to R: Taylor Lacey, Jeff Grudin, Melissa Grudin, Maggie Garside Heilman.

Maggie found the Sailing Science Center last year during our presentation at Ros de Vries’ Pathways to Sailing seminar. Maggie’s outgoing personality, interest in science, and love of sailing, have made her one of the SSC’s top volunteers at our exhibitions. We are delighted to have Maggie on the team and hope you will meet her soon at one of our events.
A negative mind will never give you a positive life.
April Volunteer Activities
April saw a sharp uptick in events for volunteers, with two public events and our spring potluck at the Treasure Island Yacht Club. See the pictures and notes below.
April 15 & 16 - Svendsen's Spring Fling Boat Show
Spring Fling Logo
The Svendsen's Spring Fling Boat Show kicked off the SSC season. Much thanks to Svendsen's Amanda Pangelina for helping everyone get the most out of the event.
Lars Anderson in front of the SSC Trailer
Lars Anderson points to the SSC's new safety cones. The SSC trailer's strategic parking position ensured that everyone saw it when they arrived at the event.
SSC Booth at the Spring Fling Boat Show
Becky Thoms gives a thumbs-up to the SSC! Volunteers pictured: Lars Anderson, Damon Guthrie, and Chris Winn.
Wave Tank Lego Creations
The hit of the SSC booth was the new Wave Tank 3D-printed Lego beach made by Steve Malton. We were amazed by how engaging it was to both young and old alike. See the video (00:26).
Family of 3 with Wave Tank
Jeff & Melissa Grudin with Wave Tank
April 22 - Volunteer Potluck
Volunteers at the TIYC Potluck
Volunteers enjoyed food and time to socialize at the April 22nd SSC potluck, held at the Treasure Island Yacht Club.
April 29 - Call of the Sea Tall Ships Celebration
The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.
― Albert Einstein
In the News
Preston Thomas
Preston Thomas 4.30.2022
The SSC is overjoyed to announce the addition of Preston Thomas to our Board of Directors. Preston has been on our volunteer roles since March of 2020 and has been a regular contributor at the meetings of our Exhibits Team, offering some of the most innovative thinking and energetic involvement in the group. He has also been a regular at our public exhibitions, embodying and forwarding the SSC spirit.

You can read more about Preston and his background in our April 2022 newsletter.
New Lego Beach for the Wave Maker
The members of the SSC Exhibits Team are all too modest to take credit for the idea to create a new Lego beach for the Making Waves exhibit. The new beach, 3D-printed by Steve Malton, eliminates issues with rock and grit damaging the tank (a problem with the old beach), while offering a dramatic increase in creative expression and experimentation by those engaged with it. Its simplicity and flexibility have been a huge hit.
3D Rendering of Lego Beach
3D Rendering of the new Lego beach. The new beach provides endless opportunities for creative expression and experimentation. A driving factor in the change was to be able to experiment with different defenses against sea level rise. We also wanted a "play factor" like what we observed in our February visit to the Lawrence Hall of Science (see accompanying picture).
The blocks at the Lawrence Hall of Science can engage kids for hours.
Flow Loop Updates
The acrylic test section for the Flow Loop was delivered in April. The test section is the single most expensive component of the exhibit and we were anxious about it not fitting correctly. We were pleased to get the students' report that everything fell in place correctly.
Developer Lawsuits
Artists rendering of completed development on Treasure Island
On April 6, Treasure Island developers, Wilson Meany and Stockbridge Capital Partners, filed suit against their partner, Kenwood Investments, in the $6 billion project that is to become the new Treasure Island. Kenwood returned the favor the next day with a countersuit. Suffice it to say, it's about money, and we're not involved. We are concerned that resolving the disputes could slow the progress of the development. We are keeping an eye on the situation and will consider alternatives to Hangar 3, should it come to that.
Knot Boards
Photo of large and small knot boards on a table
The new SSC knot boards are here, in large and small models. Both versions come with a board, cleat, practice line, and instruction sheet with fun facts. These are a great gift idea for your sailing friends, or as a tool to brush up your own skills. Look for them soon at the SSC online store.
Keeping Count
The SSC is now employing mechanical counters to measure the number of adults and children we serve at our events. As an organization that promotes science, and use of the scientific method, we want to model those practices internally. Doing so is enabling us to track our progress with confidence that the numbers we report are accurate and meaningful.
A pair of click counters
Contest Winner
In April we offered an SSC bumper sticker to the first person to identify the following things about the April banner photo:

1) The name of the peak in the background
2) What is wrong with the picture

The background peak is Angel Island's Mt. Livermore. What was wrong with the picture is that it was flipped 180 degrees to make it more balanced when logos were applied.

Call of the Sea's Steven Woodside correctly named the peak and won the sticker. We were lenient with Steven, since nobody got the answer to both parts. Our point was to show the brain's remarkable ability to recognize patterns, even when those patterns are reversed!
The April banner photo was flipped to be more balanced when logos were applied.
2023-04 Banner (flipped)
Original Photo
This Month's Newsletter Banner
The crew of a boat racing in the 2023 MEXORC shows off their great attitude in front of Puerto Vallarta's hi-rise skyline. If you are part of a team, the attitude you bring can make the difference between being invited back or being a one-time Charlie. Your personal experience will also be shaped by your attitude, whether a team is involved or not.
Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Wanted for the Sailing Science Center
SSC Logo - Light Background
Do you have photos to share? The SSC is looking for shots to use on our website, in our newsletter, and elsewhere. Photographer attribution will be given.

The SSC needs volunteers! We especially need volunteers who can staff one-day exhibitions as docents. Training, lunch, and SSC logo polo shirts are provided.

Direct your inquiries to
Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
Here is the schedule for the next two months. Check our online calendar for the latest information.

May 1-7 - SailGP Inspire Program (past)
May 10 - SSC Board of Directors
May 20 - COTS - SEAS Youth Program
June 8 - Richmond Yacht Club
June 13 - COTS Summer Camp
June 14 - SSC Board of Directors
June 21 - Encinal Yacht Club
June 24 - OYC Community Service Day
Move the Needle
These are things YOU can do to make a difference and Move the Needle

Leadership Corner - A New Set of Lenses
It was early in my career and I was sailing with colleagues on Galveston Bay. I was trying to determine our location from a buoy marking the ship channel and I couldn’t read the number, so I asked the skipper if he had binoculars aboard. At that point, the skipper, and everyone else on the boat... Read more...
New Volunteers
Graphic of Raised Hands with SSC Logo
The month of April saw record numbers of signups, both for the SSC newsletter and for new volunteers! We want to give a big SSC shout out to Andrew Fischer, Shirley Reekie, Carla Robinson, Joerg Bashir, Jeff Gear, Rebecca Darsey, John Daughters, Becky Thom, Heather Tannes, Sharon Wilson, Bill Holt, Cal Huntzinger, Peter Landau, Jessica Wang, Alex Brujalis, Bob Stephens, and Michael Rochette, all of whom raised their hands during our April events to help the SSC grow.

We are thrilled with the interest all of you have shown. We are working our way through the lists to contact you as quickly as possible. You should at least have received an email from us by now. If not, please reach out to make sure we copied your contact information correctly
That's all for this month.


Jim Hancock
President and Founder
The San Francisco Sailing Science Center is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation recognized under IRS Section 501(c)(3), Tax ID 82-3631165. Your donation to the Sailing Science Center is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.





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