Come Sail Away With GPS

by Steven Seidell April. 13, 2012 332 views

Dick Baldwin of Educational Passages recently visited with the third graders at CRES to talk about his mini sailboats and how they're being used to sudy Atlantic salmon in Penobscot Bay. The salmon research is supported by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association. Educational Passages, a program based in Maine, takes researching the ocean to a whole new level.  Since its creation, over a dozen tiny sailboats have been released in the Atlantic Ocean in order to study the currents and winds, with boats being recovered in faraway places such as Portugal and Ireland.

Educational Passages was the idea of Dick Baldwin from Belfast, who created the program to teach Maine’s children a bit about the ocean and data scientists use to study it.  You could say he knows a thing or two about both sailing and the ocean as he has successfully sailed solo.  At its inception back in 2008, five foot sailboats were equipped with tiny GPS tracking devices allowing students to track the boats online.

The program has taken off since then, and today there are new boat designs and students and community members, young and old, following the boats’ journey.  Some of these people take part by aiding in launching or recovering the sailboats.

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