Students from IES Garoé de Valverde have launched an educational boat of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) in the waters south of La Restinga, El Hierro, in order to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the framework of the iFADO project of the Interreg Atlantic programme, and the international educational programme Educational Passages.
The launching of the small educational sailing boat, called “El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava”, took place after a training session in which students and teachers from IES Garoé and representatives of PLOCAN participated. The event was supported by the town council of El Pinar from El Hierro.
The mini-sailboat is expected to cross the Atlantic Ocean like other small boats of the Educational Passages educational programme, which aims to spread environmental learning and knowledge, and in particular that of the ocean environment, by means of small boats equipped with GPS capable of following winds and ocean currents, allowing students of all ages to explore oceanic phenomena while developing transoceanic educational classes.
The mini-sailboat joins the educational voyage started on 5 May by the educational boat Buche Salado II, from the IES Eusebio Barreto de Los Llanos de Aridane, in La Palma, which has been sailing since its launch on 5 May in an oceanic eddy in the west-southwest of La Palma.
The small sailing boat “El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava” is equipped with GPS and a temperature sensor powered by a small solar panel installed on the surface of the boat. In a small hold of about twenty centimeters, the pupils have housed work done at the institute in which they give an account of where the boat came from so that it can be identified when it is picked up.
Pushed by the winds and sea currents, the “El Hierro-Mar, Salitre y Lava” will describe a route that can be observed in real time through the Educational Passages website, so that the students can get to know the characteristics of the sea routes it sails along, learning in an interactive way about the dynamics of ocean currents and winds.
The main objective of the programme is to introduce students to the world of sailing and engage them in collaborative learning through international cultural experiences, and to increase understanding of the value of the hydrosphere as a shared resource through knowledge of the ocean environment. The programme brings the ocean into the classroom, whether on the coast or inland.
The Interreg Atlantic iFADO project aims to create marine services on a regional and sub-regional scale, using the Atlantic waters of the European Union as a case study. Filling existing technical gaps, iFADO will use the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) to demonstrate the application of innovative products. Funded by the European INTERREG Atlantic Area programme, it integrates research institutions from different areas such as numerical modelling, satellite remote sensing, oceanographic campaigns and new technologies.