Adorable Miniboat Built by Rhode Island Students Reaches British Shores Ten Months Later

What better way for kids to learn about the ocean than to build a boat themselves? The aptly-named Inspiration may be a tiny thing, but it’s seaworthy and surprisingly high-tech. It was successfully launched back in March, and ended up in the UK, where it delivered its hopeful and inspirational message.
Miniboat Inspiration was launched off the Rhode Island Coast and recovered in the UK 6 photos
Photo: University of Rhode Island
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Earlier this year, kids from three schools in Rhode Island were embarking on a fun and exciting project – building a miniboat called Inspiration.

It was an initiative led by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (URI GSO), with the purpose of teaching young students about the ocean. The graduate students taught the third-graders how to ballast a keel and set up a sail for a seaworthy boat.

Then, middle and high-school students got to install the “technical features” onboard, including GPS units for tracking the vessel and a package of sensors for air and water temperature measurements. All of this was powered by a battery charged with renewable energy, thanks to two small solar panels.

The Inspiration miniboat also hid a surprise for those who would eventually recover it – a hatch filled with all kinds of interesting facts about the students and the community.

When everything was ready, the miniboat was launched off the R/V Endeavor, the University of Rhode Island's research vessel, from 100 miles (161 km) off the Rhode Island Coast.

The miniature vessel made its way through the Atlantic Ocean for ten months, before getting washed up on a British beach, UPI reports. Following the instructions found inside, those who recovered Inspiration took it to the nearest school (Tiptoe Primary School in Lymington). The kids at the local school got to chat through video with the ones who built the boat in the U.S., no doubt a great experience for everyone involved.

Inspiration is not the only boat of its kind. Last year, the URI GSO launched Square Mile, still in the Atlantic to this day. And there are even more miniboats floating in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, thanks to Educational Passages.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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