Passages: EP News December 2020

Letter from the Director

This year has been like no other, and we are so grateful to all of you who are helping to keep this program going. I wanted to share with you a few highlights since our last newsletter in August to help show our tremendous appreciation to those of you who undertook this program during this unprecedented time.        

We have celebrated some historical moments, but also your efforts to persevere. Like the miniboats that sail through fierce waves and weather, you are finding ways to adjust your sails and move forward. Miniboats may be solo sailors, but they are certainly not alone as they carry hopes and wishes around our world ocean, connecting us to each other. They can also help turn a personal connection into action for the future.

To kick off the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021, we are excited to be a part of the UNESCO – Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s first round of online Ocean Literacy Training. We also look forward to helping promote and be a part of the Network of European Blue Schools, and continue partnering with other global programs to move our mission forward: To inspire ocean stewardship through unique global experiences.

To support our efforts in preparing for an ocean future, please consider making a tax-deductible year-end gift. Your support will help to provide at least 5 kits to schools next year. We have raised 15% of our $20,000 goal so far, and your gift is absolutely essential for us to continue our work in the new year.

We will be starting our first Miniboat Cohort in February and are now taking orders for the second one that will begin in the summer. Please reach out with questions and interest, and we look forward to working with you in 2021!

We hope the new year brings you good health and happiness.

Sincerely,
Cassie
Cassie Stymiest
Executive Director

August - December 2020 Highlights

The HVES CRUISER was repaired thanks to Walsh Boat Works in Cork, Ireland, and is now awaiting relaunch. The first voyage took the boat from Harbor View Elementary School in South Carolina to Drumgallagh School in Ireland. We also want to thank Mr. Mcglynn, who has been facilitating these repairs and connections across the Atlantic.

The HIGH HOPES miniboat, which was launched off the Cape of Good Hope, circumnavigated the Indian Ocean after 800 days and traveling over 30,000 km. We’d like to thank our collaborators and supporters who made this possible: EP’s Founder Dick Baldwin, Bonnell Cove Foundation, Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, and SEAMester Programme.

To celebrate the October 21 anniversary of the Strait of Magellan discovery, three symbolic miniboats / miniveleiros named VICTORIA, TRINIDAD, and CONCEPCION will be heading to Chile to be launched in the Strait 500 years later after being filled with messages from students throughout Portugal and schools in the Escola Azul Program.

The U.S. Navy’s USS Constitution celebrated its 223rd birthday with a virtual tour of the museum and ship, and a ceremonial launch of two miniboats (TEAL TURTLE and HK PRIDE) that were built by 4th grade students in Boston, Massachusetts, connecting the past to the future.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program traveled around with a Mobile Miniboat Makerspace so that participants could still build miniboats at a safe distance. CRMM staff have worked hard to keep their program going this year. 

“While conflict is ever-changing, Liberty stands strong,” said the students of Wy-east Middle School in Washington, explaining earlier this year why they named their miniboat LIBERTY. In November, that mighty little boat landed at Ailuk Atoll in the Marshall Islands after 101 days at sea. It was successfully recovered and students back at Wy’East now have new friendships in the South Pacific.

Ms. Adams (left) and Ms. Parrott (right) brought their students’ miniboats to the docks of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Later in October, the students on board the ship for the SEA Semester Program, Class C-294 Atlantic Odyssey and Ocean Exploration, launched them into the Gulf Stream. The RYE RIPTIDES sailed Northeast, while the SOJOURNER’S TRUTH (its second voyage actually) took a different route…

The students from the Aucocisco School in Maine were able to see their miniboat travel twice this fall. The name “Aucocisco” comes from the Abenaki (an indigenous tribe in Maine) word meaning “resting place of herons,” so the students chose and voted on BLUE HERON as their miniboat’s name. Both voyages were quick and each landed in Massachusetts. Maybe the 3rd voyage in 2021 will be across the Atlantic!

HELP US SAIL TOWARDS A BRIGHT FUTURE

At Educational Passages, we work to connect and educate thousands of people around the world through the building and launching mighty 6’ boats that sail themselves to distant shores.  We have launched 148 boats, so far that have crossed 3 ocean basinslanded in 28 countries, and now connect 6 continents

But each boat kit costs far more than we charge schools and teachers. We rely on donations from people like you to help offset these costs. To provide at least 5 kits next year, we need to raise $20,000 and so far have raised only 15% of our goal. Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end gift and join us on our mission to inspire ocean stewardship through unique global experiences.

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