Each year for the past 10 years, the Morristown Beard School 6th Grade class has launched a mini-boat as part of the Educational Passages program. To mark this special anniversary, MBS was recently featured on an Educational Passages podcast with geography teacher Lisa Swanson and student Ashley Badcock ’28 serving as guests.
Since 2012, MBS has launched 5-foot, unmanned sailboats as part of the Educational Passages program. Each sailboat is equipped with a GPS that transmits to a satellite, so MBS students are able to track its journey on the web. In its hull, students place a variety of items including essays about life in New Jersey, an MBS baseball cap, photos, and issues of Crimson magazine.
After spending two and a half months at sea, this year’s 6th Grade sailboat, Crimson Current, was recovered in a cave off the rocky shores of County Cork, Ireland. The first MBS boat, Crimson Tide, was recovered by a fisherman in Guernsey, an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It was later re-launched and washed ashore in France. Other MBS boats, Crimson Cruiser and Crimson Wave, have traveled to Florida and the Orkney Islands in Northern Scotland.
MBS Middle School teacher Lisa Swanson says the project is exciting because it can also provide a backdrop to teach everything from physics to world languages. A significant aspect of the project hinges on the hope that students can connect with their peers across the globe when the boat reaches a foreign shore. When Crimson Tide was retrieved off the coast of Guernsey, for example, it set up exciting new learning opportunities as MBS students connected with students there via Skype.
Now that Crimson Current has been recovered in Ireland, the MBS Middle Schoolers will be anxious to connect with local school children there to learn more about the country and daily way of life. Stay tuned for more updates!