Students from Swan’s Island School and UMaine’s Marine Science Club boarded the Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship, State of Maine, to present their mini-boats for launching on the ship’s next training voyage.
These 5 foot boats are a lot more than they seem.
Michelle Whitman, teacher at Swan’s Island School says, “Our adventure is just starting. We are going to be tracking our boat with the GPS unit as it travels around, taking a look at different ocean current patterns and making connections with other communities.”
Swan’s Island School and schools from seven other countries are participating in the Atlantic Mini Boat Regatta.
Richard Baldwin, of Educational Passages says, “We’ve got 34 boats from 8 different countries, regions around the world. Our East Coast boats go from Florida to Maine to Nova Scotia, actually Newfoundland. And these boats should sail to Europe.”
The boats will be relaunched from Europe and will sail further eventually making their way back to the U.S.
Bladwin says, “Our goal is to get some of these boats all the way around. We call it the Atlantic Circle, following the winds and the currents.”
Students wanted whoever found their boat to learn a little about where they’re from.
Sage Dentremont, a student at Swan’s Island School says, “We put in a few little artifacts. Like a mussel shell and a little bit of sand, a few other cool colored shells and sea glass. I think it’s just important to have something physical from another place to really imagine where it came from.”
The students also put together a documentary about Swan’s Island.
Teachers say this mini-boat is providing students educational opportunities to learn more about their town, marine science, and other cultures.
Sarah Sprague, a student at Swan’s Island School says, “It’s very cool to learn a lot about how boats work, what we do with boats, and where we’re going to send them off to.”
Baldwin says, “We want an International Marine Science Program. We are trying to encourage kids to get into marine and environmental science.”