Updates:

1st Voyage - Sensor Data

In the summer of 2021, the miniboat program took place over two weeks with GSO graduate students and amazing Central Falls elementary students. For two weeks graduate and elementary students engaged in hands-on activities relating to ocean science while building and completing the MB (miniboat) Square Mile.

Sensors installed by Central Falls High School students provide an opportunity for data to be collected and the boat’s location to be tracked. In addition to location it will report air temperature, water temperature, and pitch. Zoom in to the map below to see the data reporting from the sensor package.

This “small but special” miniboat was launched from GSO’s Research Vessel Endeavor in early October with the help of RI teachers. Read the full story below.

1st Voyage

In the summer of 2021, the miniboat program took place over two weeks with GSO graduate students and amazing Central Falls elementary students. For two weeks graduate and elementary students engaged in hands-on activities relating to ocean science while building and completing the MB (miniboat) Square Mile.

Sensors installed by Central Falls High School students provide an opportunity for data to be collected and the boat’s location to be tracked.

This “small but special” miniboat was launched from GSO’s Research Vessel Endeavor in early October with the help of RI teachers.

  • July 19-30, 2021: Students prepare their miniboat

  • September 2021: Central Falls High School students outfit their boat with sensors

    Ms. Murray’s students at Central Falls High School outfitted the Square Mile with sensors that will record air temperature, water temperature, and pitch as it sails. Here are some pictures of the process:

    On September 18, the Square Mile was on display at URI GSO’s Science Saturday event, with Ms. Murray and Ms. Stymiest from Educational Passages at the table answering questions and inviting people throughout Rhode Island to join the journey of the Miniboat Square Mile.

    In October, Ms. Murray got to travel onboard the R/V Endeavor thanks to the Rhode Island Teacher at Sea Program, and be a part of the launch herself! The expedition she joined is a 3 day scientific cruise, led by Principal Investigator David Smith.

  • October 2, 2021: Miniboat Square Mile set to sea by R/V Endeavor cruise, including Ms. Murray!

    Ms. Murray brought out the miniboat Square Mile that her students outfit with sensors onboard the R/V Endeavor as part of a 3-day research cruise with the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography’s Teacher at Sea Program.

    Many of us followed along at https://techserv.gso.uri.edu/EndeavorNow as the research boat and crew headed out on October 1, 2021. Pictured to the right is Ms. Murray with the Square Mile on deck the evening before departure.

    There were eight educators on board this expedition, as part of the RI Teacher at Sea Program. Here is a picture of the crew:

    Before the expedition began, Mayor Maria Rivera of the City of Central Falls delivered a Citation (pictured above, right) for the Miniboat Square Mile, citing that “Mayor Maria Rivera Hereby extends her best wishes for a safe voyage in the Atlantic to the Miniboat Square Mile. She invites you to connect with our students and educators who built and launched this boat to learn about the people, history, and cultures of our small but special city. The entire city extends its very best wishes on this memorable occasion and expresses the hope for continued success.”

    The boat was launched on October 2, 2021 around 4:30 ET.

    Here is a video of Ms. Murray explaining the project with Dr. David Smith, the christening of the boat, and the crew launching it into sea:

    The boat has two GPS systems onboard. One is the main GPS, which reported at the map on the top of the page here until February 10 (the unit is still active but not currently reporting). Here below is where you can see the data reporting from the sensor package, which is reporting location with a secondary GPS tracker, air temperature, water temperature, and orientation. This sensor package was installed by Ms. Murray’s students at Central Falls High School (see tab above for details and pictures).

  • May 2022 - Seeking assistance to recover Square Mile in the Azores

    After 130 days at sea, the Square Mile is hanging around the Azores. The main GPS stopped reporting back in February, but the onboard sensor package has been sending GPS and other great information the whole time.

    Unfortunately over the last couple of weeks the battery on the sensor package has not increased, and we are anticipating only one more week of reports from the unit. So on May 25, 2022 we put out an email to some friends in the area to see if the boat can be recovered at sea.

    Below is the call to action. Click here to download PDF version.

    SEEKING ASSISTANCE WITH RECOVERING UNCREWED MINIBOAT SQUARE MILE AT SEA IN THE AZORES – PLEASE RECOVER IMMEDIATELY IF SAFE TO DO SO

    An UNCREWED 1.5m long GPS tracked sailboat (MINIBOAT) is currently traveling less than 1 kt in the area of the Azores between Ilha das Flores and Faial. The electronics onboard have begun to fail and we are seeking assistance with recovery so repairs can be made. Vessel is UNCREWED but may be on its side which is preventing the battery from charging. There is only enough power for one more week of reports sending a message once per day.

    This is a science and education project and any assistance in its recovery would be greatly appreciated.

    • Image below shows the last week of reports from the onboard GPS.
    • The diameter around the concentrated reports is ~30 km (16 nm)
    • RED STAR IS LAST RECEIVED REPORT ON 22-05-25T00:02:00Z UTC
    • At latitude 38.80939, longitude -30.23604
    • Traveling at less than 1 kt
    • heading (deg) 66.3529411764706
    • Next report expected at 22-05-26:00:00:00Z UTC

    Visit educationalpassages.org/boats/squaremile/ for more information about the project, and scroll to the bottom of the page to click on the GPS reports shown in the map above.

    Please contact Cassie at cassie@educationalpassages.org if you are able to help or have any questions.

  • June 8, 2022: Square Mile recovered in the Azores for World Ocean Day surprise

    On June 8, 2022 (World Ocean Day) a group from Horta, Faial (with support from friends in US and Lisbon, Portugal) set out to recover the SQUARE MILE because it was approaching the Azores and had very little battery on the GPS left.

    Special thanks to Observatório do Mar dos Açores, Escola do Mar dos Açores, and Direção Regional de Políticas Marítimas. Individuals also to thank: Carla, Marco, and Luis!

    At 14:49 UTC, they found it and successfully recovered it.

    More details will be posted soon, and updates on next steps with connecting schools. Thank you all who helped with this recovery. What a wonderful World Ocean Day surprise!

During the summer of 2021, URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) partnered with the Central Falls School District Expanded Learning Community and Educational Passages to offer a hands-on opportunity for 3rd and 4th graders to build a miniboat which they named Square Mile.

The Square Mile was launched into the Atlantic from the R/V Endeavor in October 2021. Sensors installed by Central Falls High School students provide an opportunity for data to be collected and the boat’s location to be tracked.

Learn more about the GSO miniboat program here. 

The GSO Miniboat program is made possible by the Devereux Ocean Foundation, Inc.