Winter 2016 Educational Passages Newsletter

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Director's Note

Educational Passages’ goal is clear and concise: to provide an exciting marine science program to students. As director of this new non-profit I thought this would be easy –get a few boats across the Atlantic and we’d be off and running. The boats crossed the ocean, but the world didn’t seem to notice.

The future looks bright. As you look through the newsletter you’ll see we are working on many different ways to improve our educational offerings.Thank you to everyone who has contributed their time and expertise. This truly is a team effort! ~ Dick Baldwin

We joined respected marine educational associations and started collaborating with colleges, universities, and organizations here and abroad. Suddenly people became enthused and ideas started flowing. We are contemplating the addition of scientific sensors, hydrophones to monitor whale sounds, electronic steering, solar panels and video recording. This collaborative effort and the exchange of ideas have been both exhilarating and productive.

Save the Date!

Fisherman's Forum
March 3-March
Rockport, ME

International Miniboat Regatta!
October 2016
Happening Internationally.
See "Students See the Seas" for more info!

New Horizons

Creating Creative Collaborations
Educational Passages is asking colleagues and friends to help with forming panel discussions for the 2016 National Marine Educator Association (NMEA) Conference, hosted this coming June in Orlando, Florida. The 2016 NMEA conference topics include: global connections, technology connections, classroom connections, informal education connections, and educational research connections. As these topics are parallel with Educational Passages’ focuses, and there are many experts who are also miniboat enthusiasts, we are planning for two international panel discussions, including international representatives from Belgium and Portugal. One panel discussion is about “Bringing the Ocean into Your Classroom” and will address how to involve and inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to understand and appreciate science fields. The second panel discussion covers “Using Drifters and Miniboats as Economical Research Platforms”. This panel discussion will address ways students use miniboats and drifters to work with experts, developing news ways to explore the ocean and learn earth science. Check out about these ideas and more at the coming 2016 NMEA conference in Orlando, Florida!

Big Plans in Portugal
Portugal is hosting a national contest where students from different areas of Portugal will be challenged to have their miniboats cross the Atlantic. There will be three miniboats competing with Portuguese school students cheering them on. The starting points are Portugal mainland, Azores and Madeira. This international connection was sparked by miniboat West who started in Westbrook, Maine and ended in Portugal. Recently West was re-launched with help from 30 students back into the Atlantic Ocean on January 28, 2016 (shown in photo). Luis Sebastiao, a representative of Portugal, has been spearheading this re-launch and commented “this [re-launching West] is a project that’s very important and cherished for us. We feel that this educational project is very effective in getting students to be more involved in ocean issues.”

Pictured: miniboat West being launched of the Portugal coast Find out more about West and the friends who helped relaunch her by visiting:

Students See the Seas!
This international, educational event is designed for students to send five-foot, unmanned sailboats across the Atlantic while tracking them online. We hope to engage students around the world and create a network of students who can work together, coordinating landing miniboats, outreaching to fix miniboats, and re-sending their miniboats back out to complete a circle around the Atlantic Ocean.
All the while learning about ocean sciences, international relations, and having fun!
It is anticipated students from at least six countries will participate including:Portugal, the Canary Islands, Belgium, Spain, Newfoundland, and the United States.
Get ready to join the fun from your own classroom at the 2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta!
For more info or to get involved contact: Dick Baldwin at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIEDO Portuguese students launching miniboat West, originally from Westbrook Maine, into the Atlantic Ocean!

Full Steam Ahead

STEAM, standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, is the approach Ms. Jessica Dean’s second grade class took when learning about history in a new way by watching tracks of miniboats. Particularly the newest miniboat fleet member: Lightning Boat! (Featured in photo above)
Along with bringing the students their new miniboat, Educational Passages presented stories to the class about sailing trans-Atlantic (top photo). Some topics included how sailing technology has developed from Mayflower’s 1620 voyage to the technology we know today.
The students had been learning about navigation, colonialism and how time can be represented in a scale called a “timeline”. These smart students had lots of ideas on how navigation technology had advanced and were excited to track their miniboat across the Atlantic Ocean in reverse order of the Mayflower’s trip.

Lighting Boat is Scarborough School’s 4th miniboat. Their last miniboat, Red Storm (featured in photo above) crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 2015 and landed in Arranmore, Ireland.
Students from Scarborough and Ireland have been sharing culture and stories through voice threads, an online program that shares recordings and videos. To hear stories please visit:
Payton, Age 8, when asked for her hopes for Lightning Boat said it would be “cool if Lightning Boat landed in the same spot as Red Storm”. Payton added she was surprised by the school in Arranmore, Ireland having only 15 students. When asked what she had learned through following miniboats, Payton responded that she had learned how humans have crossed oceans for thousands of years, and during that time we have found easier ways to build boats from fiberglass.
Reed, age 7, when asked what he had learned from tracking miniboats said the coolest thing is how early settlers marked their territories. He also enjoyed learning about new places and and transatlantic transportation.
Ms. Dean’s class, as well as the other students in Scarborough school system, are so thankful to the Portland fish exchange and the Harmony crew members for their support with launching Lightning Boat this February, 2016.

Call for Stories!

Please send us your miniboat stories! We love learning about your challenges, your successes, and sharing these stories with our friends around the world. Send pictures and miniboat stories to Marine Educator and Project Coordinator Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

Charting New Courses

Crimson Voyager
Morristown-Beard School (MBS), New Jersey, sixth grade class has sent another miniboat across the Atlantic Ocean!
Crimson Voyager is the 4th miniboat from MBS. This newest member to the MBS fleet was launched in December 2015. She was equipped with a variety of items for the finding students including: letters, friendship bracelets, a baseball and pez dispensers. Crimson Voyager is preceded by Crimson Tide (2012), Crimson Cruiser (2013), and Crimson Wave (2014).
The First MBS boat, Crimson Tide, was launched in December 2012. She was recovered by a fisherman in the English Channel of the Normandy coast (featured photo, above). Then she was re-launched and landed in France. Crimson Cruiser traveled to Florida and Crimson Wave sailed to the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.
MBS middle school teacher, Ms. Lisa Swanson, says the project provides an exciting educational backdrop that covers a range of topics everything from physics to world languages. Good luck miniboat Crimson Voyager on your newly started journey!

Plocan Partnership
The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN), a state of the art resource for East, Central and the North Atlantic, is launching 5 brand new miniboats. These miniboats are made completely by PLOCAN using a miniboat mold, not from a typical miniboat kit. PLOCAN is expected to deploy the five miniboats in the next few months from different locations across the archipelago. They are already working on the details of these 2016 deployments with several schools who, with a bit of luck and good winds, will be connecting with American schools in the upcoming year. Picture show front and back plans of PLOCAN.

Simple Science; School Wide Smiles

Educational Passages’ Board member/ NOAA representative JiM Manning, with his lab members, have been working on developing low cost sensors that can outfit miniboats and other drifter science projects. The first type of sensor being tested is a temperature sensor (see above photo). This is a first step towards having choices of sensors for drifter science projects. We hope someday that this program will including sensors that can monitor salinity, depth, acidity, even sensors that can detect and record whale sounds! Not only is Educational Passages looking at developing sensors, we also are looking into new GPS possibilities. The new GPS units have better global coverage as well as input capabilities, which would make recording external sensor information possible.
The above pictures are displaying prototypes of sensors and GPS units, as well as participants at “building your oceanographic tracking device” workshops in Massachusetts. Participants at the workshops learned about engineering design and how to bring these hands-on oceanographic projects to their schools. March 2016, Jim and his lab members are traveling to the Maine Fisherman Forum hosted in Rockport. They are hosting another workshop this time inviting fisherman, as well as more students and teachers, interested in engaging their communities and classrooms in relevant oceanographic research.
Plans are underway to implement a temperature sensor into the keel of a few miniboats participating during the upcoming 2016 International Miniboat Rally. If students or teachers at your school would be interested in helping design and test these new oceanographic tools let us at Educational Passages know.

Cross Continent Check In

Bon Voyage & Canaris
L’Hermione, a replica revolutionary war French ship, has been a great partner for launching miniboats. They helped launched two miniboats; Canaris and Bon Voyage.
Canaris, the first miniboat launched by L’Hermione (featured in photo) has found her way to Senegal, east of Dakar. We wonder if our international connections can help us find Canarias and set her back sailing, hopefully with new Senegalese students tracking her voyage as well.
Bon Voyage (featured in photo below) was the second boat launched by L’Hermione in July 2015. Bon Voyage made an amazing and journey across the Atlantic Ocean into the open arms of miniboat enthusiasts in France.
Though Bon Voyage’s rescue was organized, the weather did not corporate. Though built strong, it appears a storm crashed Bon Voyage into the rocky shore and she was lost at sea. However collaboration efforts are underway to connect French students and Bon Voyage’s sending students. In that sense the spirit of Bon Voyage, and L’Hermione’s partnership nature, lives on!

Photos of Canaris (above) and Bon Voyage with students who monitored her!

Carolina Dreamer
A S.O.S was sent out on January 8, 2016 for the rescue of miniboat Carolina Dreamer. This S.O.S was sent from the fourth graders of St. Andrews School of Math and Science in Charleston, South Carolina. These students have been tracking Carolina Dreamer since May 19, 2015 across the Atlantic. First she sailed to Bermuda, then to Europe! On January 8, 2016, the miniboat was approaching Ireland and her students sought for a champion to find her. By February 2, 2016 Carolina Dreamer had landed in Wales. The Cambridge News wrote an article asking locals to look for her on the shores. Click here, to read the Cambridge news article. Much to everyone's relief, Carolina Dreamer was located in Wales and brought to a local school (photo shows new Welsh students around Carolina Dreamer). Carolina Dreamer not only continues her educational journey, she also was featured in US national news! Click here, to read ABC news coverage. Click here, to read BuzzFeed's Carolina Dreamer story! Congratulations St. Andrew students, because of your dedication your miniboat Carolina Dreamer is a SEA STAR!

Any donation amount would be an amazing gift to the school students watching her journey.
Carolina Dreamer needs new: deck, mast, sail, and possibly a new GPS in order to get back across the ocean!
Donations can be made at the Educational Passages website or checks mailed to Educational Passages, 415 Lincolnville Ave, Belfast, ME 04915.

Miniboat "Morning Star" Impresses All

This miniboat was built by five brave Tillamook High school OR students, with minimal direction from their instructor, and has some colorful building stories!
The Tillamook students, all from different backgrounds, experienced a few moments of uncertainty during the building process. Their tasks included piecing together manual instructions, shaping fiberglass more than expected, and procuring necessary resources.
Finally their hard work was rewarded when Morning Star came together and the students could paint their scientific project. Christian Mata of Tillamook High reports some great moments for the team during the painting of their boat and becoming very close with “the handy dandy mineral spirits” in order to clean up spilt paint.
When the students had finished building and painting their boat they set her afloat in Netarts Bay, Oregon. The team reported feeling relief when Morning Star didn’t sink, tip over, or melt in the water.
Now Morning Star is sailing “like a champ” across the Pacific Ocean. The students who set her sail felt they experienced an opportunity they would never forget. The unknown students in Morning Star’s future will be receiving an opportunity they could never imagine! Tillimook teacher, Mark Roberts wrote EP saying; “It was pretty cool to watch them [the students] start with no idea how this would come together, and end up with a functional piece of research equipment that we can track across the ocean!”
Thank you, Tillamook, for taking on the challenge and sharing your story!

Small Steps Across the Pacific
Stillwater Montessori School in Maine, USA and Sunshine Montessori School in Xiamen, China have come together to support a miniboat!
Students, ages 3 to 10, from both schools are so excited to watch with their new international friends how the ocean currents and winds connect across the globe. The goal is to watch a miniboat sail around the Pacific.
This project is in the planning stages and needs more partners to be completed. Contact Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. to join in the educational adventure!

New Ship for Science!
These miniboats were designed, and redesigned, by marine architect Mark Fitzgerald.
They are built from molded fiberglass. Boat measurements are: 56” long on deck, with a 17” beam, and draft of 16”.These boats have a hydrodynamic foil with 10 pounds of ballast and a displacement of 30 pounds. The hulls are filled with foam for positive flotation. Evolution Sails, an Educational Passages sponsor, has developed a sail that stands up well in severe conditions.
It is these physics that make the miniboats excellent at self-righting and terrific downwind sailor.
Now Educational Passages and schools internationally have launched over 55 miniboats. These miniboats have repeatedly shown to be seaworthy, they have weathered hurricanes and many have sailed 10,000 miles. One successfully completed a 22,000-mile voyage with five landfalls.
As Educational Passages is growing, miniboat options are growing with us.
Educational Passages and supports strive to connect students with best possible oceanographic tools, so we have looked into designing a different boat which would work better for conducting experiments. This new boat will have the ability to accommodate a multitude of sensors, batteries, and more. We are so looking forward to working with Mark Fitzgerald and other experts to see what we can design and build next!

Thank You!
To all those who have supported and participated in connecting students to science and the ocean though miniboats and drifters! This is an international group effort and couldn't be accomplished with out your continued help and support!