ATTLEBORO -- Three city residents who are cadets at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy will be participating in the school’s “Sea Term,” and local students can follow their activities and the activities of all 600 cadets aboard the academy’s training ship, T.S. Kennedy.
Mass Maritime has invited teachers from grades K-12 to participate in the “Follow the Voyage — Share The Experience Program” in which their students virtually follow the cadets on what the school calls “the ultimate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) adventure on land and sea.”
The local cadets include Benjamin Johnson, the son of Scott and Jode Johnson; Michelle Sheehan, the daughter of Susan and Mike Sheehan; and Nathan Barboza, the son of Michael Barboza and Gay Perkoski.
All three are graduates of Attleboro High School.
Johnson and Barboza are majoring in Marine Engineering while Sheehan is majoring in Marine Transportation.
The academy is based on Buzzard’s Bay in Bourne.
The 540-foot-long T.S. Kennedy will set sail for a seven-week voyage in January and will make stops in Balboa, Panama, Golfito, Costa Rica, Willemstad, Curacao and Tampa, Fla.
It will also go through the Panama Canal and cross the Equator.
“In 2019, over 12,000 K-12 students from twenty-three different states witnessed the day-to-day life and learning of cadets onboard the T.S. Kennedy,” according to a Mass Maritime press release. “Each day, students read about and watched the shipboard responsibilities of marine engineering, marine transportation, or facilities engineering majors.”
“The Sea Term is not a pleasure cruise,” according to Mass Maritime’s website. “The voyage lasts about 52 days on average, and during that time a cadet will rotate through class and laboratory training at sea, ship’s operations including deck and engine watches and maintenance and emergency drills. Port visits offer a time to relax, but still include watch responsibilities and ship’s maintenance.”
As the cadets tackle topics such as weather forecasting, celestial navigation, ocean currents, rust removal, engine maintenance, sewage treatment, firefighting, and seawater desalination aboard the T.S. Kennedy, students can take part in parallel hands-on lessons in their classrooms.
They will also be able to experience the food, art, and culture of the ship’s four ports of call.
In addition to STEM topics, the curriculum also incorporates language arts, social studies, and fine arts.
Educators have the freedom to select the activities that best fit the age and ability level of their students.
Participation in the program is free.
Educators may register an individual class, a grade level, a school, or the entire district and should provide their name, email address, their school name and address, and the number of students that will be participating.
To register, educators should contact Nancy A. Franks, “Follow The Voyage — Share The Experience” coordinator, at email@example.com.
Early registration is encouraged.