The 2017 Sea of Opportunities Cyrus Peirce Middle School (CPS) Eighth Grade Design, Build, and Race a Cardboard Boat Program's annual boat race at Children’s Beach (Harbor View Way, Nantucket) was held on Wednesday, October 18, from 8:30am to 10:00am. The eighth grade student body and teaching team gathered with Egan Maritime for a morning full of excitement as students raced boats made out of cardboard, wood glue, and duct tape.
To begin each new school year the Sea of Opportunities Oceanography & Maritime Studies students learn about navigation, cartography, and how we navigate the Earth. Wrapped into this curriculum unit is the Cardboard Boat Program. Local boat builder Eric Finger, of Finger Boatworks LLC, Nantucket, volunteers his time and talent to teach the students about boat design and building, while assisting students with their own boat designs and production plans. Students learn the processes of conception, to sketch, to model, and then build, testing and critiquing their work along the way. The pinnacle moment of the project occures when students are able to give their designs a “real life” experience on the water. Students used paddles to maneuver their boats working in teams. Whoever finished the race and disposed of their cardboard boat in a cardboard dumpster first won the race. There were a series of races throughout the morning as teams of students each awaited their turn to test their designs.
“This is a fun project that encompasses the entire eighth grade student body and teaching team with a great sense of collaboration and comradery,” said Dr. Amanda Knight Bardsley, Sea of Opportunities Oceanography & Maritime Studies teacher. “It is a fantastic start to the year that engages Nantucket youth with Nantucket history in an active and exciting way that captivates the students.”
Egan Maritime would like to thank Community Foundation for Nantucket’s The Nantucket Fund for sponsoring this program; Marine Home Center for a stockpile of cardboard for students to build their boats with; Nantucket Harbor Master, Sheila Lucey, for providing a life guard for the morning of the race; Strong Wings Adventure Camp for providing paddles; Nantucket Community Sailing for providing life jackets; and the entire CPS Eighth Grade teaching team for collaborating with Egan Maritime to provide local youth with a unique island educational experience.
Sea of Opportunities classrooms and programs ensure that every Nantucket student has a maritime educational experience during their academic careers. By combining the island’s history with science, math, and language arts, Egan Maritime creates a unique maritime educational experience while meeting state regulations. Sea of Opportunities enhances local youth’s understanding of their island home while connecting them to the many men and women who safeguard Nantucket waters, ecosystems, and culture. It allows all students the opportunity to succeed in the classroom through hands-on learning and experiment. And, it does all of this while broadening their understanding and knowledge of maritime trades and sciences, both locally and globally.
Photos by Katie Kaizer Photography.