Aids to Navigation–Class Aids

Making aids to navigation class aids

Making aids to navigation class aids

Students seem to struggle the most with the Aids to Navigation section when first learning about Boating Safety.  Most texts have simple diagrams and a few pictures but putting everything in context is difficult.  These teaching aids for Aids to Navigation seem to help.  The teaching aids are designed to be placed on a table top so students can move around the table and view the Aids to Navigation from different view points and move the ATON’s around on the table to see different views and courses.  Most of the Aids to Navigation class aids are about 4.25 inches tall.

These work nice as a hands on lab after the class has covered the Aids to Navigation section of the text.  I have also  produced a short narrated PowerPoint video that shows pictures of Aids to Navigation and the chart symbols with a section of the actual chart that works well but a hands on lab after the PowerPoint presentation seems to reinforce the learning. (U.S. Aids to Navigation presentation) The instructor notes are also very complete.

Hints on making the Aids to Navigation Class Aids

Getting started making-aids-to-navigation-class-aids

Getting started making aids to navigation class aids

Print the patterns with a standard printer and glue the sheets to cardboard, I used 1/4 inch white foam board.  If you don’t have a color printer the black and white version can be printed and then colored in with felt tip markers.

The easiest way to cut out the class aids is with a sharp Exacto Knife or utility knife and a straight edge.  All the Aids to Navigation class aids can be cut out with straight cuts.  Be careful cutting the slots so the class aids will stand up properly.

The plain colored sheets without the interlocking slot go on the back side of the related ATON to give color to the back side of the sheet to make the Aids to Navigation three dimensional with color all around.

The red and white Safe Water Marker needs extra care to insure the proper alternating colors.

Use a felt tip marker or Highlighter to color the edges of the foam board to make the edges less visible and make the Aids to Navigation Class Aids look nicer.

I used 1/4 inch foam board to make the Aids to Navigation class aids as the foam board is stiffer than Poster Board but Poster Board should also work but the ATON’s will not be quite as stiff.

Patterns for Aids to Navigation Class Aids (pdf 37kb) – Patterns for both color and black & white printers with full instructions.  Glue patterns to 1/4 inch foam board.

Suggestions for using the Aids to Navigation Class Aids in a class.

  • Put the class aids on a table top and have class members show the safe course and WHY.
  • Take a piece of rope or line(s) and make a course on the table or floor and have the class place the Aids to Navigation class aids to correctly mark the course.
  • Take a large piece(s) of paper or part of an old bed sheet and draw out an inlet, marina entrance, channel etc.  Use either a local area or make a fake area that is challenging.  Have the class put the proper aids in place to mark a safe course.
  • Place these on a table at the back of the classroom and let the students work with the Aids to Navigation at the breaks.
  • Place aids on the students tables then walk around the tables explaining why you are passing on a particular side of an aid (only takes a couple of minutes and very visual in small class rooms)

Aids to navigation - Teaching Aids

Thanks for you interest in and support of Boating Safety.

c / m

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6 Responses to Aids to Navigation–Class Aids

  1. Dave Stahnke says:

    I’m taking a Nav class now, I’ll put these together for our, and future class use. Thanks for this and the other articles!

  2. itspak says:

    When I started reading your post I was sensing headache But great results in the end. Some good things to see.
    Why do you have c/m written in the end? and have no sharing buttons. Don;t you believe on social media?

    • captnmike says:

      The c/m is short initials for captain mike – the old journalists ended their articles with “-30-” so this is just a variation of that and my old habit of initialing changes and notes to indicate that it was the end of my note – some jobs the initial and date were a Govt. requirement.

      All the social media is on my site – just hidden under the “More” button – I did not like having 9 more buttons spread across the bottom of the Post

      Glad you did not end up with a headache – I do try and keep my writing easy to read and understand – many people do not realize how hard it is to make things seem simple and easy to understand – look at your different college professors – some twist things around and around and others – when the class is over you say to the effect “wow – they really boiled this down – why was I so afraid of this subject?”

  3. itspak says:

    Hide other icons under the “More” icon is a good thing to make your post neat and clean visually. But I’ll never do this because I’m afraid that I’ll lose the shares which are already much less in number (a little more than 1 share per post).
    Ahh I should understand c/m earlier. Nice idea. I’ll use my signature in the end of my next post too.

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