Send a Letter Across the Atlantic Ocean

Looking for a cool way to get your students involved in ocean exploration?

This spring, scientists and students from Rutgers University will send an underwater robotic glider on a mission to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The 3,300 mile voyage will take at least six months for the slow-moving low-energy glider to make it across.

And now your classrooms can be a part of this historic mission!

To get involved, all they have to do is write a letter to the other side of the Atlantic. We’ll put all the classroom letters we collect in the next few weeks inside the glider. (Technically, we’ll put them on a thumb drive, so we’re asking for scanned or faxed letters from teachers.) We’ll also post all the letters we get on the mission web site. And if the glider makes it across, we’ll send copies of the letters back to the classrooms they came from, postmarked from the glider’s destination.

As the glider embarks on its journey, we hope you’ll invite your students to follow along. If they have a letter in the glider, they’ll become vested in checking out the ocean conditions around the glider as it flies through oceanic storms and remora infested waters.

We encourage you to use this exciting opportunity to engage your students in the excitement of ocean exploration.

For more details check out the Atlantic Crossing Mission site and check out the online form for submitting your letters.

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2 Responses to Send a Letter Across the Atlantic Ocean

  1. janejl May 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    What a great idea! Have you thought about contacting a class at the glider’s destination and seeing if they would like to receive the letters from students in the states and writing a response back? Maybe students in the states could get their original letter (postmarked with the glider’s destination, of course) as well as a response from a student across the Atlantic.

  2. Sage Lichtenwalner September 3, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    That’s a great idea Jane. We hadn’t thought that far ahead. It was a tough enough battle just getting the glider into the water in the first place. But now that we’re getting close – and we might actually have to send responses back to the states, it’s something to think about.

    There is already a lot of interest on the European side. They’re ready and willing to pickup the glider when it reaches their waters, so I’m sure we could find some interested scientists and classrooms to participate on the other side of the puddle.

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