Saturday, September 14, 2013

Take Your Students on an Oceanic Odyssey

Mylène Paquette
Have you heard of this amazing young Canadian, Mylène Paquette?  She is crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat - by herself!  She left from Halifax on July 6 and will row 2,700 nautical miles (or 5,000 kilometers) to Lorient, France where she expects to arrive approximately 100 days after her departure.   Why is she doing this?  Listen to this video (in French) and at 3:13 she tells us that it is important for everyone to realize that anything is possible and we can live differently on the planet.

Rowing across the Atlantic, Solo from Canada to France from Mylene Paquette on Vimeo.

Ms. Paquette uses social media to communicate in real time her experience of this trans-Atlantic crossing.  She is eager to reach out to the public and raise awareness about the ocean's ecosystems.  Find her on Twitter, read her tweets and enjoy the pictures, listen to her phone calls (from the sat phone) in both of Canada's official languages and read her blog posts.  Your students will love to follow her progress on the map and her ground team supporting the communications is ready to connect your class to Ms. Paquette in real time!

Send the students to her FAQ page to read about how she eats, sleeps and manages to row 12 hours every day.  She uses her iPad to tweet, to take pictures and send out distress calls if the need arises.  Ms. Paquette takes pictures and tweets them out, asking her followers to help identify what she sees.

This is a fabulous opportunity for students to learn some BIG lessons about courage, challenging ourselves, about effort, about using science and technology to accomplish our goals, both big and small and all of that in both languages.  Listen to the video below to see the technology she uses to communicate with the world while she rows towards France.  She really is a remarkable person and our students should know about her adventure.