Sacred Heart Star of the Sea

Sacred Heart School


1st Voyage

  • Press Release Issued January 20, 2019

    CONTACT: Jim Farrell, PR First, 781-681-6616,

    Sacred Heart School students build research vessel for launch in Indian Ocean
    Once completed, mini-boat to be transported to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

    KINGSTON, MA. Students at Sacred Heart School (, a private, Catholic, co-educational school in Kingston for students in preschool through grade 12, are presently engaged in a unique and exciting program that is literally making waves!

    Under the direction of Clair Lombardo, Chair of the Science Department, students are putting the final touches on Sacred Heart’s first school-built mini-boat research vessel – “Sacred Heart Star of the Seas” – for eventual launch in the Indian Ocean.  The boat will be equipped with a weighted keel, a sail, and a solar panel attached to a GPS.

    Once completed over the next several weeks, the vessel will be transported to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where students will tour labs where underwater research vessels are being developed; from there it will be air freighted to South Africa where it will be utilized by a team of scientists boarding the Thomas G. Thompson, a U.S. Navy Global Research Vessel.

    A research team aboard the Thompson comprised of scientists from the U.S., Germany and China will conduct research on the ocean floor and along slow-spreading ridges.  The team will launch the vessel from the Marion Rise in the Indian Ocean in February.  Sacred Heart’s mini-boat will be carried by the powerful Agulhas Current and eventually reach land in India, Australia, or perhaps beyond.

    “Sacred Heart Star of the Seas” includes a “message in the bottle”, letters written by students at the Elementary School, as a means of sharing the story of its creation with whoever finds the boat once ashore.

    The collaborative project has involved Sacred Heart students from elementary to high school.  The opportunity to explore what Woods Hole scientists call “the blue planet” came to Sacred Heart in large part through Henry Dick, a senior scientist at Woods Hole and husband of Sacred Heart English teacher Winifred Dick.

    “The ocean is one of the final frontiers on planet earth.  Much of the floor has not been mapped, and our understanding of fundamental processes – such as the formation of the ocean floor – is not fully understood,” said Henry Dick, the chief scientist on the Woods Hole Indian Ocean cruise project.  “Biologically, geologically and physically, the planet’s seas are an incredibly complex system of wind, waves, current, life and resources that are yet poorly known, but offer hugs benefits to mankind. I am delighted that our expedition out to map previously unknown seafloor will also contribute to Sacred Heart School’s understanding of the winds and waves through which we sail.”

    About Sacred Heart School
    Sacred Heart School is a private, co-educational Catholic school system, providing educational opportunities for students from preschool through grade 12 for
    35 communities throughout the South Shore and Cape Cod. As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence, Sacred Heart School welcomes students to a learning community which is academically challenging, and rooted in the Gospel.  Students develop critical thinking skills, engage in service to those in need, and deepen awareness of global perspectives. Situated on 100 acres in Kingston, MA, the Sacred Heart campus encompasses an Early Education Center, Elementary School, and Middle- High School. The school offers a strong liberal arts curriculum and cutting-edge technology programs in combination with extensive athletic, arts, and extra-curricular activities to ensure students a well-rounded education. Founded in 1947, the school has seen many changes since its inception, including the recent construction of a $2 million Science and Innovation Center, upgrades to the Observatory, the addition of a large organic garden, and extensive beautiful athletics fields and facilities. The campus is in use throughout the year as the site of many sports events. Sacred Heart also offers several vibrant summer programs focusing on academics, leadership skills, and traditional athletic programs. Sacred Heart is also home to Camp Morningstar, a long-standing recreational camp with sailing, swimming, sports, games and field trips. Sacred Heart is proud of its near 100% college acceptance rate at outstanding schools in the United States and around the Globe. Sacred Heart is led by President Sister Myra Rodgers, CDP, High School Principal Dr. Michael Gill, Elementary School Principal Shaun Morgan, and Early Childhood Center Interim Acting Principal, Sarah Chick. Sacred Heart School welcomes students of all faiths and diverse backgrounds. The school is committed to developing the whole student, offering an independent school atmosphere and top-tier academics. The Sacred Heart School campus is located at 251-399 Bishops Highway, Kingston, MA 02364. For additional information about the school, please visit or call 781-585-7511.

  • February 14, 2019

    The science team for the cruise is heading to South Africa next week. They shipped the miniboat ahead of time and have all the materials they need to seal up the hatch and send her on her way.

    The students of Sacred Heart even wrote some letters to include inside:

  • Marion Rise Cruise Website Now Live

    February 21, 2019

    The Cruise website is up! Check out for daily updates.


  • February 25, 2019 - Wicked Local Article Published

    An article was published in Wicked Local about Sacred Heart’s miniboat mission. Click here to read the article, Sacred Heart students build research vessel for launch in Indian Ocean.


  • January 2019

    Henry Dick, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the chief scientist on the cruise comments, “The ocean is the last frontier on planet earth. Most of the floor has never even been mapped, and our understanding of fundamental processes – such as how the ocean crust forms – is not fully understood. Biologically, geologically, and physically the planet’s seas are an incredibly complex system of wind, waves, currents, life, and resources that are yet poorly known, but offer huge benefits to mankind.

    One area of immense interest is understanding the movement of their surface waters. The movement of water masses, both vertically, and on the surface is a critical control on climate and weather. Launching the Star of the Seas mini boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean will make a small but important contribution to understanding a huge range of important concerns from what controls the great Indian monsoons to where it’s best to go fishing in the ocean deeps. I am delighted that our expedition to map previously unknown seafloor will also contribute with Sacred Heart School to understanding the winds and waves through which we will sail.”

    Some pictures of the boat being assembled and prepared:


    The whole school was involved in the process:

    The miniboat was brought to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at the end of January:


  • March 2019 - Miniboat now aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson

    The Star of the Seas is now aboard the R/V Thomas G. Thompson, awaiting deployment!

    Read the full blog post at 


  • March 22, 2019

    The little ship Star of the Seas was released at 08:45 UTC March 22, 2019. The location was 40 degrees 09.7658 minutes south, 45 degrees 14.5124 minutes east.

    To read more about the Southern Ocean currents, check out this cool article on the Cruise blog: