It is encouraging to us to see young people learn about the oceans, science, and one another by participating in the Educational Program of the Blue Planet Odyssey.
We held two Skype sessions on 11 May 2015. The first Skype session was between the students at the C.E.D. St. Joseph School in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas and the students at Round Hill Elementary School of Round Hill, Virginia, USA. The second Skype session was between the St. Joseph Elementary School of Nuku Hiva and the principal, Mr. Andrew Davis, and the 5th grade science teacher, Mr. Mark Muldowney of Round Hill Elementary School of Round Hill, Virginia.
Mr. Emmanuel Taupotini, Chief of the Office of Tourism in Nuku Hiva, orchestrated the Skype sessions between the schools. Mr. Taupotini accompanied us to each Skype session to introduce us to the school personnel and students, and to assist in translation. Students in Nuku Hiva speak the Nuku Hivan dialect of Marquesan and French. Some of the students are learning to speak English.
The students in both countries were exceptionally interested in communicating with one another, especially to share knowledge regarding the ocean, sea life, conservation, recycling, agriculture, and other endeavors to keep the planet and all upon the planet healthy. They were also interested in learning about one another’s school days, subjects learned, and sports. Students and teachers from the schools are eagerly anticipating future communications with one another, both through the internet as well as through traditional mail services.
Everyone involved felt the Skype sessions were a total success, and are thankful to Mr. Taupotini for orchestrating the sessions, and for Jimmy Cornell, organizer of the BPO for masterminding the Sail the Odyssey Educational Program.
Clearly, through the Educational Program of the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world sailing rally, opportunities for children throughout the world are emerging to learn about the oceans, the planet, science, language, culture, and the universality of mankind. We hope that through seeing the photos taken during the Skype sessions, you will see that the Skype sessions were successful and that they may encourage communication between the schools far into the future.
Jeff and Anne Posner
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