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Oregon, Japanese students engage in scientific, cultural exchange

Nate Sandel gives next Past to Present lecture Feb. 13

Published on February 9, 2018 8:46PM

Nate Sandel, education director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, with students

Courtesy Columbia River Maritime Museum

Nate Sandel, education director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, with students


ASTORIA — Nate Sandel, education director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, will give the next Past to Present lecture at the museum 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13. His topic: “The Mini-boat Program: Creating a Transoceanic Classroom between Oregon and Japan.”

During the 2017-18 school year, students from Oregon and Aomori prefecture of Japan are embarking on a scientific and cultural exchange without ever leaving their classrooms. Five classes in Oregon each constructed two mini-boats equipped with GPS transmitters — one to launch from the coast of North America, and the other, delivered to their partner class in Hachinohe, was launched from the Japanese Coast on Dec. 20, 2017.

Using real-time data on ocean currents and weather, students on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean are tracking movement of the mini-boats — and hopefully creating lasting friendships.

Since 2005, Sandel has taught education programs to more than 100,000 students in cities across the U.S. Since returning to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in 2016, the department has been making connections in maritime science, history and culture with new innovative educational programs.

The lecture series is free with paid admission and always free for museum members.



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