Photo by Martha Blanchfield / Renegade Sailing
Sailing Science Center News
August 2022
Vol. 5, No. 12
Welcome to the August issue of the Sailing Science Center News! This issue marks five years of monthly newsletters*, none of which would have been possible without the great SSC team. That leads us to this month's theme, which is Teams. Assembling a great team starts with finding the right people. In this month's Leadership Corner we explore a critical, but often ignored, characteristic of all great team members. Keep reading for updates on all of the SSC's July activities.

*You can see our newsletter back issues on the Newsletter Page of our website.
Some say you have to use your five best players, but I found out you win with the five that fit together the best as a team.
Red Auerbach, Professional Basketball Coach
August Spotlight - The Treasure Island YMCA
It's all about the team!
This month’s spotlight is on the Treasure Island YMCA, its staff, and… Basketball! Basketball seems like an unlikely connection for a spotlight in the Sailing Science Center News. But as we conducted the interview and research for this piece, it emerged as a prominent thread. It starts with the very existence of the game. James Naismith invented Basketball at the Springfield College YMCA in 1891. That would be something by itself, but it’s just the beginning. The NCAA held its first West Regional Basketball Championship on Treasure Island in 1939. And today the Treasure Island Y continues to host basketball tournaments for the American Athletic Union (AAU). But it doesn’t end there. Shiante Lewis, the Y’s Senior Director, has her own history with the game. She says she lived for basketball when she was younger, playing for the women’s teams at her high school and as a freshman at San Francisco State. When she wasn't playing basketball in college, Shiante was studying Sociology and Communications.
In high school my mother said I wouldn't leave the house without a basketball.
A Basketball
But back to the YMCA. The YMCA opened on Treasure Island in 2013. Administratively the Treasure Island YMCA is part of San Francisco’s Embarcadero YMCA. They hold an important role on the island as the main provider for health and youth development, where they partner with One Treasure Island (see our September 2020 Spotlight) and the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA). Their roles include distributing food vouchers, offering youth programs during the summer, after-school programs during the school year, and special programming on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Their goal is to provide free access to recreation and services for all Treasure Island residents. The latter shows up in the Y’s integral involvement in creating Treasure Island’s Community Kitchen.
Shiante’s involvement with the YMCA started with summer work for the Embarcadero Y in 2009. At that time, she was teaching PE for Playworks. She went full-time for the Y in 2012, and by 2016 was overseeing the Director at the Treasure Island YMCA. In 2018 she stepped into that position herself, advancing to Senior Director in 2020. Shiante credits Rudolph Russell and Carlos Calmateo as her right and left hand in creating the organization’s success. Rudolph and Carlos are the Assistant Director and the Youth Programs & Camp Manager, respectively.
My goal is to be a really great partner for everyone on the island.
The Sailing Science Center’s connection to the Y comes from the exhibitions we have held for their summer camp the past two years. What stands out for us is our success engaging with the kids at the YMCA. Most of them are non-sailors, proving that the science of sailing can be interesting across all backgrounds. We are delighted to be working with Shiante, Rudolph, and Carlos, and look forward to doing many more events together in the future.
Volunteer Activities
July Events
July continued our full schedule of exhibitions, with four events capping summer sessions at the Encinal Yacht Club, the Treasure Island Sailing Center, and the Treasure Island YMCA. The frequent events helped us hone our ability to do quick setup and breakdown, while revealing opportunities to improve our offerings.

We share the events in pictures below.
July 13, TISC Summer Camp
Richard and his record time on The Grinder.
Event Volunteers Making Waves
SSC volunteers Making Waves
L to R: Chris Childers, Jim Hancock, Maggie Garside Heilman, Lars Anderson
July 13, Encinal Yacht Club Summer Camp
Chris Davis demonstrates the Density Drop
Chris Davis helps a young scientist study fluid dynamics with the Density Drop.
Janelle staffs the Wave Maker
Young Wave Makers supervised by Janelle Sheets.
Chris Winn demonstrates the Land Yacht
Chris Winn proves that a boat can sail upwind!
EYC Exhibition Overview
The crowds gather at our EYC event.
I think, team first! It allows me to succeed. It allows my team to succeed.
― LeBron James
July 22, Treasure Island Sailing Center
Kids at TISC
Kids at TISC
Coaches at TISC
Coaches at TISC
July 25, Treasure Island YMCA
Student pointing out great times on The Grinder
A YMCA camper points out her time on The Grinder.
Inside the SSC trailer with the Coriolis Table
Natalie Corkhill demonstrates the Coriolis exhibit inside the SSC trailer.
JR getting gritty on The Grinder
Getting down with The Grinder.
Making a boat go upwind
Analyzing aerodynamics.
Student measuring an anchor's holding power
Measuring an anchor's holding abilities.
The main point is to first get the right people on the bus―and the wrong people off the bus―before you figure out where to drive it.
― Jim Collins, Good to Great
In the News
SSC First Advisory Committee Meeting
Back Row, L to R: Carmen Palafox, Jeff Owens (SSC Secretary), Pip Ziman (SSC Board), Natalie Corkhill (SSC Community Engagement Coordinator), Joanna Oren Massey (Lawrence Hall of Science). Front Row, L to R: Victoria Marcus (SSC Board), Jim Hancock (SSC President), Mike Beller (SSC Treasurer).

On July 16th The Sailing Science Center Board held its first Advisory Committee Meeting. Advisors included John Arndt (Latitude 38), Kurt Holland (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), and Joanna Oren Massey (Lawrence Hall of Science). Also joining us were Michelle Zhu-Ting (Lawrence Hall of Science), Lars Anderson (SSC Exhibits), and Natalie Corkhill (SSC Community Engagement Coordinator). We held a productive meeting at the Bay Model conference room, followed by a group sail on Pip Ziman's Jeanneau 41, Touché.
Save the Date
National Lighthouse Day
Alcatraz Light
August 7th is National Lighthouse Day, honoring the beacons that guide mariners and protect them from danger. In this month's Science Corner we look briefly at ways a lighthouse can be used for navigation.
The number one priority of an organization is finding and keeping good people.
― John Maxwell
Science Corner
SV When and If reaches toward the Castillo del Morro Light outside of Havana. The classic 1939 schooner was designed by John Alden and commissioned by Colonel George S. Patton.
The lighthouse characteristics that matter most to mariners are the light's identification and its visibility. Lighthouses are frequently built with distinctive architecture or color patterns so they are not mistaken for the wrong beacon. They are given unique light characteristics for the same reason. The visibility of their light is achieved through its height and intensity. Height above sea level gives a light its geographic range, making it visible over the horizon, while the intensity of its light gives it luminous range. Both are needed to give a light visibility over long distances.
A light's geographic range comes from its height. This extends its visible horizon. Its luminous range comes from the intensity of its beam, and may be greater than, or less than, the geographic range, depending on atmospheric conditions. Both can be used for determining distance off. If the distance is combined with a compass bearing, the two can be used for determining position.
Charted featureswhether lights, island peaks, or tall buildingscan be used to estimate distance using simple angular measures. This is the basis of the SSC's Visual Navigation exhibit. Guests make measurements by holding fingers at arm's length to estimate their distance from SE Farallon Island.
Chart of SE Farallon Island
This Month's Newsletter Banner
The crew of a J/105 douse its spinnaker. Building a high-performance team starts with getting the right people on the team. That starts with knowing what those people look like, so you can recognize them when you find them. That starts with knowing what makes good teammates. See this month's Leadership Blog for some thoughts.
J 105 Crew Dousing a Spinnaker
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 August schedule. Check our online calendar for the most current information.

August 3 - Encinal Yacht Club Summer Camp Finale

August 5 - Treasure Island Sailing Center Summer Camp Finale

August 27 - SSC Volunteer Appreciation Picnic
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to make a difference and Move the Needle

Leadership Corner - Buying a Car
Buying a car can be a daunting task. It requires making tradeoffs that can rarely all be satisfied. Making a good decision means asking which factors are most important. Is there one thing that rises to the top? Something that trumps everything else? Try taking our test to see what you think. Read more...
Graphic of Raised Hands with SSC Logo
The SSC wants to give a big shout to Bruce Wicklund and Christian Siefert, who raised their hand in July to say they could help. We look forward to working with you in the coming months.
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.




Natalie Corkhill

*STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math
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