The photo above-Debra Colvin


So it's game on in the life of the little ship Southern Cross and her best friend.

The photo above of me and my young friend in Puerto Williams, Chile. The photo was taken by his father and my friend John Cano. I like it and think it is a great way to introduce a unique project I have a role in along with my boat Southern Cross. Read on for a glimpse of the ongoing adventures we are planning. This is now the official blog of the Voyage of Southern Cross Elementary Education Program.

This is an experientially based live stream education program offering great benefit to students and teachers. Perhaps more appropriately put this is a program of "education made better' through real time adventure.

Stay tuned for the soon to be publication of "Voyage of Southern Cross" web site and support campaign, both of which will explain the Little Ship's ongoing mission.

The Voyage of Southern Cross project is about a "Little Ship and Her Best Friend" circumnavigating the globe via sail, oar and ship to 14 countries in just over three years, while delivering live stream classroom lessons and adventures to as many elementary school classrooms in as many countries as feasible.

Leg One Complete: One Down and Thirteen To Go!

Chile and my voyage down the Strait of Magellan into the southwest islands of Tierra del Fuego was leg one of what has now become a direction and a driving force to continue a great idea that has been field tested and deemed success by teachers, students and parents alike.

What I envisioned while preparing to set sail in Chile and through interacting with elementary school classrooms was the desire to do more and I thought of a simple way to do it, a way to make a tangible difference. The Voyage of Southern Cross is a big idea for certain. It is often the case that it takes a big idea to capture hearts and minds and to make what a short while ago seemed impossible, possible.

My desire to continue on was fueled by the students enthusiasm for their involvement with me live from the wilderness. I taught structured content from pre-prepared and shared lesson plans (the teachers taught the same material in preparation for the broadcasts) and the students were engaged and following my course via shared live tracking. I ended up having a fantastic experience working with the students from the three schools. Thank you all again for being pioneers!

So I thought and thought and decided that if I finished the voyage I was embarking upon that I would dedicate my time and energy to sharing the world of science, sustainability, math, humanities, culture all spiced with a major dash of real time adventure, nothing staged, all true in field and on the water experience as it unfolds. This to be broadcast live through our central web site and offered for free to any and all classrooms in the world who might benefit from such an experience.

So I sketched out a different kind of circumnavigation. Under sail, oar and ship to 14 countries all the while sharing the voyage via live stream broadcasting. That done, whew, now what? Assemble a team and find some financial support!

What started as  the Strait of Magellan, sail south south and done became a bit of a life and focus changer. Through the challenges I faced I learned many things. I changed my world view in some respects and discovered a tangible way to actually make a measurable difference for good.

This is in my wheel house so to speak. As a former college professor and program director I know the value and the challenges of delivering real engagement in the classroom. I have done this for years and have witnessed first hand the tangible student learning outcomes that come from these types of experiences. Like all well intended ideas this one requires thoughtfulness, creative thinking, a gathering of like minds, refining and defining what the purpose of such an endeavor will be, how to offer it at no cost, so many questions and yet how fascinating to simply try.

Use The Little Ship For Good

The little ship and her best friend (that would be me) are continuing the scheduled classroom interactive teaching I engaged in while in Chile. As it turned out the satellite phone calls to classrooms, the face to face interactive exchanges were one of the highlights of my voyage.  Through our central web site and by log in and pass word teachers and their classrooms can access and participate in or simply watch the classroom broadcasts from around the world. Lesson plans, resource materials as well as archived lesson videos are available to teachers through the web site.

To reach school kids around the world the "Little Ship and Her Best Friend" will continue on and visit 14 countries over the next three and half years. Some of the adventures on water and on land will be available at no charge to elementary school teachers who can hook up and share the live stream broadcast with their 3rd through 6th grade classrooms. We hope the "Little Ship" can provide a point of contact for young people to allow them to share in an experience and adventure not only with the ship and sailor but with each other.

Our aim is clear and is focused on reaching out, engaging young minds by offering a unique view of the world. We aim to bring sustainability and environmental ethics into the classroom discussions when appropriate. There are lessons to be learned and information to be shared from positive sustainability programs from around the globe. We hope for much but at least to inform young minds infusing each with a sense of adventure with a nod to the possible in life.

A noble cause? Yes! Impossible? No! We, a group of friends have banded together to make this happen will need lots of help and support as the project comes together. Please note this internet URL, it is the address to our soon to be published web site. I will be posting here when the web site is published, which is planned for about two weeks from now or about July 1st, 2017.

On our web site you will be able to learn about our vision, mission, goals and objectives plus the nuts and bolts of making such an ambitious project work and how you as a teacher, parent, arm chair sailor or kindred sailing and adventurous friend can help us bring this no cost program to fruition. You will be able to read about how you can be an actual part of the project, offer advice and even how you can join us in one of the thirteen planned countries as "part of the crew."

A Brief On The Project:

Who is bringing this project to reality:

Southern Cross-    The Little Ship
Howard Rice-        The Little Ships Best Friend and Project Director.
John Welsford-      Designer of the Little Ship and Project Logistics Director
Gary Gnade-          Creative Design and In Field Technology Director
Kate Ebert-            Education Director

and we have a knowledgeable Advisory Board to help guide the way.

Where is Southern Cross now and where is she headed next?

The "Little Ship" is in her dedicated shipping crate sitting near the shore of the Strait of Magellan north of Punta Arenas Chile. Winter is coming on there and her crate is covered in snow. At the end of June she will set forth on the next leg of her round the world journey. In her crate she will be placed in a container and put aboard a ship bound for Seattle Washington. She is scheduled to arrive in the Port of Seattle on about August 6th, 2017. She will be refit in Port Townsend and a new (used) shipping container will be modified as the VoySC HQ and global shipping container. We plan to ship on to Leg 3 in October but we also have lots of money to raise and hope our project is deemed interesting enough, effective enough, popular enough to gain friends who can help make it a reality.


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  2. Howard the web site requires a password. Shall I try Southern Cross?

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