1st Voyage - Quiet after 125 days at sea

  • September 2018 - Named

    After each homeroom came up with one name we put all the names to a vote. The Jefferson School mini-boat name and it is now officially: S.S. Lil’ Jeff! Here are some pictures of the students filling the keel:

  • September 2018 - In the news

    In September, the Jefferson school was featured in the news as students kicked off the nautical themed school year with the presenting of the miniboat kit. Read the full article here.

  • October 4, 2018 - Keel prep

    The students have begun to prepare the boat for the keel by sanding it down.

  • October 17, 2018 - Learning about nautical maps

    The 8th graders have been learning about nautical maps.






  • October 23, 2018 - Decorating

    The miniboat Lil’ Jeff is getting decorated now.  All of the classes came up with design ideas and then chose one to use.  Same for the sail – designs were submitted and then one chosen.



  • October 26, 2018 - Last day at school sendoff

    Lil’ Jeff’s last day at school was October 26th:

    An all-school picture of the students with Lil’ Jeff on her last day on campus October 26.
  • October 29, 2018 - Delivered dockside

    We look forward to a deployment from the ship MV Bermuda Islander, who will launch our little boat just east of the Gulf Stream to improve its chances of a trans-Atlantic voyage. Here are some pictures as we delivered the Lil’ Jeff to the docks on October 29th:

  • October 30, 2018 - Deployed

    A delightful email came in from Stuart Griffin: “Lil Jeff is officially at sea as of 0720 this morning! As you can see from the ship’s bow wave in the photos, they deployed Lil Jeff without even stopping the ship!” An email from the crew also noted: “Good morning, Hereby inform you today Thursday, October 30.2018/ 07:20 Lt. School project sailing boat successfully launched in to the water in position 37-49.6N/073-35.5W. Good sailing!”
  • November and December 2018 - Tracking

    The students at the Jefferson School have been monitoring Lil Jeff via the lobby monitor (see picture), but on November 27 she appeared to stop sending a GPS signal…
    December 4, 2018
    After she went silent since November 27, the students wondered if the GPS stopped working so they reached out to Educational Passages. Cassie Stymiest replied, “If you look at the track it appears that something may have happened to the boat itself. Perhaps looking at the weather when it started to go in circles? Could be a great opportunity to look at what may have happened and discuss with the students and if the boat is still sailing perhaps she’ll wash up one day!” to which Ms. Hendricks replied, “Hope she washes up! Love to not lose her completely. Everything has a lesson- we will do some research and come up with a hypothesis as to the mystery of Lil’ Jeff’s disappearance.”
    December 5, 2018
    Alas, alert student Aidan Leary checked the map and discovered that Li’l Jeff is ALIVE!

    December 18, 2018
    This is the last time we received a location report from the Lil Jeff after sailing only 49 days!

  • January 2019 - Reporting again

    January 23, 2019

    We were alerted this morning with an email, “We were excited to see that Lil’ Jeff reported in this morning! What was it Mark Twain said, “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”?”

    The distance between the last report and most recent is 286 km.

    January 24, 2019

    Students at the Jefferson School awoke to another reported position from Lil Jeff! You can see their excitement here:

  • March 15, 2019 - Quiet after 125 days at sea

    We last heard from Lil Jeff on March 5, 2019… will she wash up somewhere so we can see her again?

The Jefferson School’s mission is to provide an innovative academic environment focused on experiential learning and active engagement for students from preschool through grade 8. The school is located on a 43-acre campus near Georgetown, Delaware with a nature trail, two ponds, forest, fields, a greenhouse, gardens, tribe of 5 goats and a few chickens.  We enjoy using our campus to enrich our students’ learning.  With help from faculty, parents, and Gerhard Kuska from MARACOOS we began our mini-boat adventure on September 4, 2018, with an all-school assembly to kick off the project. All of the schools’ students are involved with the mini-boat project beginning with the boat’s naming, boat construction, ideas for decoration, and research revolving around weather, ocean currents, and geography. We are very hopeful to connect with students from another country! 
The Jefferson School mini-boat is partially sponsored by MARACOOS.