Under the direction of high school English teacher Winifred Dick, Sacred Heart School students completed a research miniboat, "Sacred Heart Star of the Seas," for launch in the Indian Ocean in February 2019. Equipped with a weighted keel, sail and solar panel attached to a GPS, the miniboat will be transported by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to South Africa where it will join a team of scientists aboard the U.S. Navy-owned research vessel Thomas G. Thompson. The scientists—a team of individuals from the U.S., Germany, United Kingdom and China conducting research on the ocean floor and slow-spreading ridges—will launch the miniboat from the Marion Rise where it will be carried by the powerful Agulhas Current and eventually reach land in India, Australia or beyond. Sacred Heart School students will be able to track the miniboat's progress on the Educational Passages website.
This unique international oceanographic research opportunity is due to Dick's husband, Henry, who is a senior scientist at WHOI and one of the principal investigators on the Indian Ocean cruise, and the Sacred Heart community, who raised $2,600 for the project.