BOOTHBAY HARBOR, MAINE -- Littleton High School senior Matthew Laflamme is one of 20 students currently sailing the 125-foot schooner Harvey Gamage from the Caribbean to New England as part of the Ocean Classroom Discovery high school semester at sea. In addition to carrying a full academic course load, students are full participants in the operation of the vessel, standing watch around the clock and learning all the traditional skills of a sailor. These students will spend four months studying, working, and living aboard the ship before returning to Boston on May 20.
Their classes are taught by a team of professional educators and include oceanography, marine science, US maritime history, maritime and Caribbean literature, applied mathematics (navigation) and physics (principles of sailing). Courses are accredited by Proctor Academy of Andover, N.H. and credits are transferred to each student's home school. This unique learning expedition also provides leadership training and cultural immersion. Students will spend a week engaged in a service project at a women's agricultural cooperative, an eco-farm established to improve the nutrition and economic circumstances of local families in the Dominican Republic.
Parents, teachers and friends can follow their adventure via the voyage blog at www.oceanclassroom.blogspot.com or via the Ocean Classroom Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Ocean Classroom was recently awarded the Sail Training Program of the Year by Tall Ships America (formerly the American Sail Training Association). Ocean Classroom is presently accepting applications for the 2013 Discovery spring semester at sea, and for this summer's one and two week Seafaring Adventure Camps for ages 12-18.
A non-profit educational organization founded in 1996, Boothbay Harbor-based Ocean Classroom Foundation's Annual Appeal is underway, seeking donations of all sizes to provide scholarships to enable participation for students of lesser means, and to support capital improvements to their fleet of historic vessels. For more information, call 1-800-724-SAIL, or visit www.oceanclassroom.org.