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BAR gives students glimpse into future

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Looking forward: Bermuda school children attend the opening of Land Rover's learning zone

Land Rover BAR earlier this week opened its 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone at the team base in Dockyard.

The space will provide unique, behind-the-scenes access to the team.

Through interactive exhibits and lesson plans, visitors will see how the team uses technology and innovation to make the boats go faster, and create long-term sustainable solutions and protect the environment.

The space was opened during the official opening of the team base on Monday, along with the christening of the new America’s Cup Class boat, R1.

Wendy Schmidt, the co-founder of 11th Hour Racing, opened the exploration zone, a dedicated educational space that brings to life critical topics around ocean health, sustainability, innovation and technology, with a series of creative displays.

“With the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone, we hope to create a legacy lasting well beyond the 35th America’s Cup,” Schmidt said. “Through interactive displays, we focus on some of the concerns that are top of mind for all of us: which invasive species is creating havoc in the Atlantic Ocean? How widespread is the problem of ocean plastic pollution?

“We also look at bigger issues, such as what it means to have a circular economy and how we can accelerate the transition to the use of more renewable energy. We are thrilled to share this story with Land Rover BAR’s fans, sailing and sports enthusiasts, the public, and we hope to capture their imagination and spark creativity and interest in our oceans.”

The exploration zone will inspire audiences to make a tangible and positive impact by reducing ocean plastics, learning about the power of the sun as a source of renewable energy, and understanding the devastating effects of invasive species, particularly the lionfish that infests Bermudian waters.

Other exhibits highlight the team’s sporting and design challenge, and the technology and innovations that enable the latest generation of wing-sailed, hydrofoiling America’s Cup multihulls to fly across the water.

Using the inspiration of Land Rover BAR’s challenge for the America’s Cup, the aim of the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone is to foster and ignite young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering and maths, and inspire students to continue on to careers in these essential fields.

Land Rover BAR has brought this unique, inspirational experience to Bermuda as part of their ambition to be the planet’s most sustainable professional sports team and to engage with a number of different audiences: local residents, tourists, sailing enthusiasts, media, families and school groups are all expected to visit.

The 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone can also be used as a classroom space dedicated to delivering lessons resourcing the team’s online digital education programme, BT Stem Crew.

Children from six local middle schools attended the opening, and were treated to a lessons on invasive species and mechanisms along with a tour of the exhibits.

Visits to the 11th Hour Racing Exploration Zone comprise a hands-on tour, followed by a Stem workshop covering cross-curricular subjects, facilitated either by the sustainability officer, or by the visiting school’s own teacher.

The exploration zone will be open to the public on the following dates: February: Thursday 16, Saturday 25. March: Saturday 25. April: Wednesday 5, Saturday 15, Saturday 29. May: Saturday 13, Saturday 20.

Additionally, it will be open to the public during the 35th America’s Cup from Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, June 25.