Sacred Heart School students build research vessel for launch in Indian Ocean

Under the direction of Clair Lombardo, Chair of the Science Department, students are putting the final touches on Sacred Heart’s first school-built mini-boat research vessel – “Sacred Heart Star of the Seas” – for eventual launch in the Indian Ocean.  The boat will be equipped with a weighted keel, a sail, and a solar panel attached to a GPS.
Once completed over the next several weeks, the vessel will be transported to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where students will tour labs where underwater research vessels are being developed; from there it will be air freighted to South Africa where it will be utilized by a team of scientists boarding the Thomas G. Thompson, a U.S. Navy Global Research Vessel.
A research team aboard the Thompson comprised of scientists from the U.S., Germany and China will conduct research on the ocean floor and along slow-spreading ridges.  The team will launch the vessel from the Marion Rise in the Indian Ocean in February.  Sacred Heart’s mini-boat will be carried by the powerful Agulhas Current and eventually reach land in India, Australia, or perhaps beyond.
“Sacred Heart Star of the Seas” includes a “message in the bottle”, letters written by students at the Elementary School, as a means of sharing the story of its creation with whoever finds the boat once ashore.
The collaborative project has involved Sacred Heart students from elementary to high school.  The opportunity to explore what Woods Hole scientists call “the blue planet” came to Sacred Heart in large part through Henry Dick, a senior scientist at Woods Hole and husband of Sacred Heart English teacher Winifred Dick.
"The ocean is one of the final frontiers on planet earth.  Much of the floor has not been mapped, and our understanding of fundamental processes - such as the formation of the ocean floor - is not fully understood,” said Henry Dick, the chief scientist on the Woods Hole Indian Ocean cruise project.  “Biologically, geologically and physically, the planet’s seas are an incredibly complex system of wind, waves, current, life and resources that are yet poorly known, but offer hugs benefits to mankind.  I am delighted that our expedition out to map previously unknown seafloor will also contribute to Sacred Heart School’s understanding of the winds and waves through which we sail.”

Sacred Heart School

High School: 781-585-7511
Elementary School: 781-585-2114 
Early Childhood Center: 781-585-2290
Sacred Heart School is a landmark educational institution on the South Shore. Providing students in preschool to grade 12 a top-tier, private, Catholic education for the last 70 years.