Overview & Core Values

Our Goal: Building Brighter Futures

New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) is an ocean adventure nonprofit that provides STEM-based education programs, on and off the water, for students from all walks of life. NESS uses sailing, marine science, powerboating, and adventure sports as teaching platforms. We engage everyone in experiential learning that builds confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills vital to their futures.

Marine sciences, adventure sports, powerboating, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities.

Our innovative and award-winning programs are centered around our four core values:

  • Inclusiveness: NESS opens doors for on-the-water learning for all students regardless of ability or financial need
  • Experiential Learning: NESS actively engages students through inquiry based learning by doing, seeing, and feeling first hand
  • Personal Growth: NESS takes students out of their comfort zones for personal discovery and empowerment.
  • Stewardship: NESS builds connections between students, their communities, and a sustainable natural environment.

Our Impact

NESS’s engaging, life changing learning positively impacts our students’ lives, and we’re starting to quantify our programs’ impacts with data. So far, our data collection has centered on three areas: student self-esteem and self-confidence, life skills, and stewardship. Interestingly, even students who experienced just one day at NESS as part of a school field trip reported improvement. Not surprisingly, students in the more intensive year-round, weekly program reported significant improvement. Preliminary results include the following:

  • For 8th graders enrolled in a year-long, weekly program:
    • 43% experienced improved self-esteem
    • 52% experienced improved stewardship; the frequency was over twice as high as for students not enrolled
    • 62% experienced improved life skills; the frequency was nearly twice as high as for students not enrolled
    • the frequency of decline in both self-esteem and life skills was half as high as for students not enrolled
  •  6th graders enrolled in a year-long, weekly program reported increases in self-esteem three and half times more frequently than students not enrolled.