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The Yankee Express

Dudley Middle School students launch the DMA Anita

Twenty-six sixth and seventh grade DMS students embarked on a seafaring journey with faculty members Claudette Eagleton, Dena Kobel and Stacy Lynch. The project was funded by a MIT Sea Grant through their STREAM Grant program, which supports coastal education and community science. The DMS launch was inspired by the Thompson Middle School miniboat project, the TMS Sea Challenger. DMS students met with the TMS miniboat crew and University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography staff at the 2023 Ocean Race Stopover in Newport.
This project, led by DMS science teacher Stacy Lynch, was accomplished during an after-school program utilizing the Educational Passages Miniboat Program, which creates inclusive learning experiences for the DMS community. Through building, deploying, and tracking a miniboat at sea, students connected with their local environment and community, as well as with communities around the world.
Organized into teams – launch, cargo, deck, hull & keel, sail, media & tech – fifth and sixth grade students helped build, manage tasks, and track progress, while the seventh and eighth grade students equipped the boat with satellite transmitters and sensors for data collection. The project aimed to foster ocean literacy and engagement, and promote understanding of ocean currents, climate change impacts, and global cultural connections.
The DMS crew built and delivered DMS Anita to the URI School of Oceanography Research to be boarded upon its vessel the RV Endeavor. They have graciously agreed to deploy Anita during their next research trip, which sails on May 17, 2024. The Endeavor will be conducting research just past the continental shelf and will deploy Anita toward the end of their trip. Once set adrift, Anita will begin sending back to the students GPS positioning, air temperature and surface water temperature data.
Where Anita will find land, nobody knows. But once she does set ashore, finders will discover a time capsule of sorts in her cargo hold containing donated items that were selected by the students to represent the Dudley community. They include a Mason Road School winter hat; lanyards from
Dudley’s four public schools, a Town of Dudley coffee mug and notecard; a Boston Red Sox t-shirt; Dippin’ Donuts business card, and a DMS shirt.
Follow Anita’s progress during its 13-week voyage at