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HSBC sets course for online learning

Global yachtsman won't go Around Alone as kids sign up to share adventure

HSBC today launched a dedicated education website that will combine a real-life adventure with a structured learning programme. Through the Global Education Challenge pupils will be able to follow New Zealand yachtsman Graham Dalton as he travels solo 28,000km around the world in his 60ft yacht, Hexagon.

Sponsor HSBC's $1m investment in the education site will provide a course of 32 weekly online learning modules spanning the curriculum. Topics will be based on the types of challenges faced and the locations visited en route.

Dalton today spoke of his enthusiasm for the learning project and his excitement at having "hopefully millions of young people around the globe" following his progress.

After making a grand appearance under the raised platform of London's Tower Bridge, Hexagon moored alongside St Katharine's Pier where craft and yachtsman were blessed in a traditional Maori Haka ceremony. It will set sail for the US to start the race on 22 July.

Using satellite communications equipment and video cameras, pupils will be able to email Dalton who will reply and post journey updates online every day. Dalton envisages uploading a video diary and footage of his epic sailing adventure to the site twice a week.

Throughout the Around Alone race, which starts in New York on 15 September and finishes in Rhode Island, USA in April, nine- to-12-year-olds are invited to complete weekly challenges on topics directly linked to Dalton’s journey such as weather systems and how to navigate the globe as well as finding out about wildlife, locations and cultures he will be passing.

Although the Hexagon has yet to set sail for New York, visitors can now register at the Global Education Challenge site and complete the first activity about dolphins. HSBC says it has already sent out 25,000 resource packs to UK schools. Teachers can obtain packs by calling Richard Hunter on 020 7260 9003.

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