GREAT KIDS: Marine Biology students set sail with legacy boat kit project

Marine Biology students set sail with legacy boat kit project
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 4:54 PM EST
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WATERFORD, CT (WFSB) – A group of students is monitoring a class project that could connect them with people from the other side of the globe.

It’s part of a legacy project that started with one student back in 2016.

In Mr. Michael O’Connor’s classroom at Waterford High School, just before days for the big launch, his students are hard at work.

“I don’t want anything to wrong. I don’t want it eaten by a shark or something,” said Sam Sanjuan, Waterford High School Senior.

There is so much at stake.

“This is our boat. It is actually a continuation of a project that started 6 years ago by a former Waterford High School student,” Sam said.

In this Marine Biology class, they have built and will launch this boat, named Lucille.

The class has been working together on it for about two months now.

“It’s chaotic. But it’s super fun because we all split off into different teams, but we all need each other to work together,” said Ally Puccio, Waterford High School Senior.

The boat will travel from just off Martha’s Vineyard, ending up wherever the currents take it.

The class launched it last month.

“I want it go somewhere. I want it to become something bigger than this, than just a project in the classroom,” Ally said.

This project is a continuation that started with one student in May of 2016.

She had a kit, assemble a boat, put it in the water and it ended up 4,000 miles on the other side of the ocean.

This time, it’s a lot more involved.

There’s a bigger class of 14 students and a simultaneous launch.

The Lucille was built to coincide with the relaunch of the rebuilt Lancer, the original boat in 2016.

The students are hoping their hard work pays off.

“You have faith?” Eyewitness News asked.

“Yes,” students answered.

“This going to make it across the ocean,” said Jasmeh Greywal, Waterford High School Sophomore.

Mr. O’Connor has faith, too. But for him it’s the bigger life lesson he wants students to really learn.

“The bigger lesson is connections to the rest of the world through science, environment and climate,” said O’Connor, Waterford High School Science teacher. “I’m hoping they connect with each other; they connect with the content, and they connect with the rest of the world.”

“This is our drifter, tracking currents as well,” said Jasmeh.

The students will monitor the boat’s path through GPS.

“It’s kind of like a newfound appreciation for things that kids can do and what it can lead, too,” Sam said.

They’re tracking this big project hoping wherever it lands, it makes a big impact.