‘The Mighty Spartan’ makes a mighty voyage


Above, Sean Creaven and his dog Daisy discovered the LFCE ship on a beach in Ireland. (Special to The Journal)

FELTON — Last fall, Lake Forest Central Elementary School students launched “The Mighty Spartan” into the Atlantic Ocean hoping to make an international connection – last week they found out they had.

“The Mighty Spartan” is a four-foot long unmanned sailing vessel. The craft, decorated with Lake Forest’s colors, was filled with items from the students and a plea — written in three different languages — asking whom ever found the ship to make contact with the school.

“We’ve been found,” said Lake Forest Central Elementary School STEM teacher and project organizer Pam Hobbs in an e-mail last week.

“An Irish gentleman and his dog taking a stroll today found our boat,” she added.

The craft was launched northeast of Bermuda on Nov. 19, 2014. The boat made its way to Strandhill Beach in the village of Strandhill, County Sligo, in the northwest coast of Ireland.

Mrs. Hobbs’ learned of the vessel’s landing in an e-mail from the man that discovered her.

“I was walking on the beach with a friend and my dog (Daisy) when we saw it washed up on the shore. We dragged it up onto the beach and opened the waterproof storage area, and everything was completely dry and intact like you had put it in there yesterday,” Sean Creaven said in an e-mail last week to Mrs. Hobbs.

Mrs. Hobbs said it was like Christmas Day when she told her students about their boat’s discovery.

Since November, the school, through Mrs. Hobbs’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lessons, have been tracking the boat using GPS.

The project was part of a complete engineering unit. When students started tracking it, they tackled mapping, oceanography, even international relations, following the boat around the globe. Students studied currents, climates and marine biology.


Pictured is an example of how the Felton, Del. students tracked their boat across an ocean. (Special to The Journal)

Now they will get to learn about Ireland.spar

Mr. Craven has a 10-year-old son and plans to bring “The Mighty Spartan” to his son’s school when they return from their Easter holiday, sometime after April 13. The hope is that Mr. Craven’s son’s class will reach out to Mrs. Hobbs’ students in Felton.

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