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RICH WILSON - sitesALIVE! PDF Print E-mail

RICH WILSON grew up in Boston and learned how to sail as a young boy. Besides his AB from Harvard, he has an SM degree from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He recently received an honorary doctorate in public administration from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, with the citation: "For his distinguished sailing career and his dedication to educating schoolchildren worldwide."

He's been a math teacher in the Boston public schools and a defense analyst in Washington, DC, working on B-52s and cruise missiles, and he worked at Wind Ship Development. He also has served as a trustee of two college-level, in-the-field, accredited science semesters: Sea Education Association in Woods Hole and the School for Field Studies in Beverly, Massachusetts. Along the way, he continued sailing, becoming the youngest winning skipper of the Newport¡VBermuda Race in 1980 aboard the forty-two-foot ketch Holger Danske.

In the early 1990s, Rich founded sitesALIVE!, which became his true passion. sitesALIVE! creates school programs that connect K-12 classrooms to adventures and expeditions worldwide. Says Rich: "Excite a kid with bats, bugs, and snakes in the rainforest, or with gales, flying fish, and dolphins at sea, and they will pay attention, not knowing what will happen next. Then the science, geography, and math flow freely." By his program voyages (three world records on clipper ship routes, San Francisco to Boston, New York to Melbourne, and Hong Kong to New York), as well as seventy content-providing partnerships with accredited field schools throughout the world, sitesALIVE! has produced seventy-five fullsemester, live, interactive programs for grades K¡V12. Following this mission, a primary objective of sailing the Vendee Globe was to spin a global school program off that uniquely global ocean event. Rich has won the 2001 Innovators in Education Award from the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the SuperAchievers' Award from the American Lung Association, the Blue Water Medal from the Cruising Club of America, and the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club.

The globe-circling Vendee Globe, deemed the "most grueling and dangerous prolonged competition on the planet" (Garry Emmons, HBS Bulletin, 2009), serves uniquely as the basis of a dramatic, live, interactive, global K¡V12 school program in science, geography, math, and history.
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