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Miniboat Magic in Ireland

Educational Passages was lucky to be in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day 2024 – visiting with miniboat crews and celebrating connections. The trip was inspired and driven by Juliet Fluty’s Educational Studies Internship (University of New England ’24) focused on the Mini Maine which is connecting classes between the USA and Ireland. While we were there, many other connections were made and new project ideas formed…

For weeks before the trip, 4th grade students in Mr. Nason’s class at Biddeford Intermediate School in Biddeford, Maine prepared a new sail and cargo hold, and wrote letters to introduce themselves to students in Ireland. EP then traveled to Ireland and delivered these gifts to the Ardfert National School 4th class who had worked on the project the year before.

“It was such a special moment to be able to meet the students at Ardfert National School in Ireland last week. Not only did they remember the Ocean Champions project they did the previous year, but their excitement to learn about the students in Maine was contagious, and I’m really excited to bring back the energy that will help the Mini Maine set sail again.” – Juliet Fluty, Educational Passages Intern
1. A One-of-a-Kind Transatlantic Educational Experience
2. Cultural and Community Connections – Virtually and in Person
3. Upgrading the Miniboat with Sensors to Contribute to Ocean Science Research
And thanks to our donors, we were able to raise 50% of our campaign goal, which is making the first two phases a reality! The third phase will include upgrading the boat with sensors, and then relaunching and tracking. This will bring a lot more adventure as well, and connect even more classrooms. We’ll be setting up a fundraiser for that soon, and hope you’ll join us for all the next steps. To read more about this special connection and follow along with the Mini Maine‘s future adventures, click here.
“Our trip to Ireland was quite memorable as it was the first time we were able to meet face to face with and thank some of the most incredible miniboat crew members we’ve been working with over the years. We appreciate everyone who took the time to meet with us, and especially the Explorers Education Program and its members who are helping to expand our blue horizon. We look forward to linking more projects and people together over the coming months and years.” Cassie Stymiest, Educational Passages Executive Director. 
The trip also connected the following:

We met Barryroe National School and the many crew members in Cork who have helped this project. Captain Lisa also came with us!

We caught up with Mervyn Horgan at the Old Cork Waterworks Experience Center who led the relaunch with an extensive art project in 2020. He even gifted us the original sail while there.

We talked with the Marine Institute about relaunch plans for the Raven KASTER that is currently in Achill. We also talked to the teacher about next steps when we returned home.

We toured the Marine Institute with Glenn Nolan, and Noirin Burke showed us around the Galway Atlantiquaria – many people from both of these places helped with this project which is now in Norway.

We visited Lackagh National School in Galway and caught up with Sheena Fennell who led the POGO project back in 2022. We talked about next steps, and even got a tour of Sheena’s new job as a Glider Technician with P&O Maritime.

We saw the Black Rock in person at the University of Limerick on our way to the airport. We also met one of the crew members that rescued it from the cliffs back in 2017, Petar! Pictured here is Ger Dooley who gave us a tour of the facility.

And the Sea Eagle is also only a few hundred miles from Ireland and is being closely monitored.
Track the boats yourself and use the tools on our Path Analysis Tool to help improve your predictions: http://explore.educationalpassages.org/


We’ll be publishing two podcast episodes about this trip. The first is about the Mini Maine connections, and the second will be about the rest of the trip. The first episode is out now with both audio and special VIDEO!

About Us

Educational Passages is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission is to connect people around the world to the ocean and each other through unique global experiences. Please consider making a donation, joining us to empower students to become citizen scientists and global ocean stewards.


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