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Guest Blog by Ariadne Dimoulas: 2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta

Posted By Lisa D. Tossey, Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Students around the Atlantic Ocean are about to have an unforgettable school year. Starting November 2016, schools from at least seven different countries across Europe, the Americas, and Caribbean will work together helping miniboats circle the Atlantic Ocean. Marine professionals and educators, interested in cultivating these real-time oceanographic science, geography, engineering, history, and international affairs projects, are invited to team up to join the educational adventure!

All of the boats in this regatta have a GPS unit aboard, sending real time data to satellites, communicating position, relative speed of travel, and weather’s effects on the ocean surface. At least two of the boats will be outfitted with sensors, providing real time data on both ocean and atmospheric conditions. Probable sensors include: water and air temperature, wave height and periodicity, wind speed at 1 meter, barometric pressure, salinity, and dissolved oxygen level.

International marine experts have partnered with Educational Passages in presenting two panel discussion at the 2016 National Marine Educators Association annual conference in Orlando, Fla. At the conference we plan to demo this equipment and cover details about the boundless multidisciplinary teaching opportunities and "hands on” education examples from this 2016 Atlantic Miniboat Regatta.

These miniboats are excellent downwind sailors, and show the effects of major ocean currents and winds on the ocean surface. Over 55 miniboats have crossed the oceans, weathering hurricanes and over 30 ft (9 m) seas, many sailing over 10,000 miles (16,100 km). Boats have watertight compartments where students are able to add messages, flash drives, and local items.

All boats have instructions on deck asking finders to take the boat to a local school where a new group of students can be engaged. We at Educational Passages are hoping to involve as many students and experts as possible in this Regatta, connecting a large network of students and professionals working together to help their miniboats complete a circle around the Atlantic Ocean. Educational Passages is a 501 (3) (c) non-profit and enjoys support from many organizations and institutions around the Atlantic including, NOAA, maritime academies, universities, and numerous professional marine and educational associations. For more information or to join the regatta, email our marine education coordinator or see our website!

And join us at NMEA 2016! Panel presentations at the conference in Orlando will be:

Tues., June 28 2:30 p.m.Bringing the Ocean Into Your Classroom   

Wed. June 29 2:15 p.m.Using Drifters and Mini Boats as Economical Research Platforms


-Ariadne Dimoulas
Marine Educator, Project Coordinator
Educational Passages

Tags:  conference; guest blog 

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