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1792 Marine Drive
Astoria, OR

Mini-boat Program: Transoceanic Classroom Between Aomori and Oregon

Lil' Big Boat's Launch from Columbia River Maritime Museum on Vimeo.

During the 2017-2018 school year, students from the state of Oregon and Aomori prefecture of Japan are embarking on a scientific and cultural exchange without ever leaving their classrooms.

Five classes in Oregon each constructed two five-and-a-half-foot-long self-righting fiberglass mini-boats equipped with GPS transmitters—one to launch from the Oregon Coast in November and the other to send to their partner class in Hachinohe for launching from the Japanese Coast on December 20, 2017.

Each student was assigned a writing project introducing themselves, their school, city, and state/prefecture. Using these introductions students in each class will be paired with their "MiniBoat Mate" who they will communicate with weekly for the remainder of the year.

While the boats are at sea, students on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean will track their movements. Using real-time data on ocean currents and weather, students will share their predictions on where the boats will go next, and hopefully create lasting friendships.

Track Boats

Hilda Lahti Elementary School

Knappa, Oregon | Grade 3 | Teachers Melissa Reid and Misty Lindstrom
Japanese partner school: Tanesashi Elementary School

Richmond Elementary School

Portland, Oregon | Grades 4-5 | Teacher Jaina Kapranos
Japanese partner school: Kanehama Elementary School

Otto Petersen Elementary School

Scappoose, Oregon | Grade 6 | Teacher Laycee Kinsman
Japanese partner school: Tanesashi Elementary School

Astor School

Portland, Oregon | Grade 6 | Teacher David Nagle
Japanese partner school: Okuki Elementary School

Cedar Park Middle School

Beaverton, Oregon | Grade 7 | Teacher Heidi VandenHooff
Japanese partner school: Okuki Elementary School

Columbia River Maritime Museum Research Vessel