Last year Catherine Slattery of Madaket Marine pitched an idea at the Nantucket Chamber Pitch Competition for a girl's STEM camp that intended to encourage women to enter the maritime industry. Slattery won the second-place prize of $5,000 and after a year of hard work, her vision is becoming a reality today as she, along with academy leader Skylah Reis, launch the very first Nantucket Captain's Academy.
The goal of the Nantucket Captain’s Academy is to increase women’s presence in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) through confidence building and skill development. The eight interns participating in the week-long academy will also learn coding, fish finding with radar, public speaking, statistics, and oyster aquaculture.
Just two percent of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers are women. Eight young interns will arrive on island and head to Madaket Marine where the academy will be based.
Madaket Marine is the last waterfront marina on Nantucket. The academy and chamber of commerce say that it is dedicated to safety and environmental responsibility, which makes it an ideal learning space for young women to grow and develop as the next female sea captains.
The program is built to ensure that interns will get access to skills in various STEM fields, specifically these fields below.
Science - Environmental aquatic surveying
Technology - Marine electronics navigation
Engineering - Engine repair and basic boat repair
Math - Accounting and financials training to run a profitable business.
The academy said that without the $5,000 grant Slattery received through the Nantucket Chamber Pitch competition, this academy would not have come to be.