EMPOWERING TODAY’S YOUTH TO SUCCEED TOMORROW.
While many of us spent ‘dog days of summer’ lazing on the beach or escaping to vacation destinations somewhere cooler, one Bahamian initiative was ‘driving’ education forward, challenging and inspiring young people via an innovative program called Edukarting.
A ROARING SUCCESS
The brainchild of David McLaughlin and Victoria Sarne, the Edukarting program aims to introduce government school students to the exciting sport of kart racing, in the process learning essential life and job skills. Following a Whole Child Approach to Education, the goals of Edukarting extend far beyond winning a kart race:
• Introduction to a potential Career in Motor Racing (British Formula1 Driver Lewis Hamilton started in karts at the age of 6!)
• Develop Sportsmanship & Teamwork
• Teach hands-on skills in Mechanics & Engineering
• Introduction to Media studies, Marketing, Business and Financial Skills – students deliver sponsorship presentations to local business people.
• Re-introduce Kart Racing to The Bahamas (the 1st World Championship was held in Nassau in 1959)
Now in its second year, the Edukarting Summer Camp, held at CI Gibson was another roaring success for students, parents and teachers… How could it not be?
MEASURABLE SUCCESS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
In speaking to all persons involved in Edukarting – students, sponsors, educators and government officials – one thing is clear – there is no lack of enthusiasm and measurable success for this unique program. Students, parents and teachers report renewed ambition, greater self-esteem, better grades and stronger bonds with their classmates (five of the participating students from 2013 were made prefects this year at Doris Johnson.) And lets not forget the fresh gamut of marketable skills that students will use way beyond the walls of any classroom.
HOPE + MEANING + CHALLENGE = MOTIVATION
If there’s one thing that I learned in 10 years of teaching around the world, its that true learning only occurs when students are genuinely inspired by a project. And what can be more inspiring than maintaining a kart and racing after your classmates?
As educators study the process of learning and development, it becomes more evident that experiential learning programs such as Edukarting have the greatest and longest lasting impact. This kind of deep, powerful learning is increasingly referred to as Stealth Education.
While Edukarting is leading the way in “stealth education” in The Bahamas, it may unfortunately be a bit ahead of its time. Karting is an expensive sport and the program relies on donations from kart clubs in the UK as well as private sponsorships and financial support from The Ministry of Education. The future success of the program, which includes summer camps as well as school kart clubs will hinge on increased financial support and public awareness.
“The slogan sums up the mission of our program” Victoria Sarne Director
With a 10 million Dollar Motorsports Complex on its way, it would be a travesty to lose the Edukarting program – one with an ROI that extends far beyond the balance sheet.