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Egan’s Sea of Opportunities’ Annual Cardboard Boat Race


Events & Traditions

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Cardboard Boat Race – Thursday, October 10th

Please Note: The weather has caused the event to relocate to the Nantucket Community Pool at 1pm

On Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 8:30am, Egan Maritime’s Sea of Opportunities’ eighth grade class will gather for the annual Cardboard Boat Race. They will put their seaworthy designs and cardboard constructed vessels to the test! This not-to-be-missed, fall regatta is wildly entertaining, and it’s a great opportunity for the Nantucket community to support our local students.

Photo: Egan Maritime Institute

This year marks the sixth academic year that the Oceanography and Maritime Studies core class has been in session at Cyrus Peirce Middle School. With 119 island students enrolled, it is one of the largest in the school’s history. Taught by educator Dr. Amanda Bardsley, the course outlines major elements and topics taught in a traditional oceanography class, while simultaneously introducing students to different maritime vocations and careers available to them on Nantucket.

When asked about her teaching methods and philosophy, Dr. Bardsley commented, “Teaching for me is not just a career; rather it is a mission to encourage all students to be inquisitive about the world around them, which requires being responsive to their individual learning needs.”

At the start of the school year, Dr. Bardsley begins the class with the Cardboard Boat Engineering Design Project. This initial unit combines science and engineering fundamentals with a hands-on, tangible project. It also inspires team building and peer collaboration, further developing communication skills and group comradery. Students work in teams to design, build, and construct a durable, maneuverable boat using cardboard, duct tape, and wood glue, with the hopes that it will successfully finish the race at Children’s Beach. The annual regatta is the perfect culmination for this project; it allows students to showcase their final product, analyze what worked and what didn’t, and learn academic content in a fun, accessible way.

As of September 2019, Sea of Opportunities has impacted over 4,800 local students, taught more than 1,700 students in the eighth grade classroom, and the program only continues to grow in reach and influence. Egan Maritime’s Executive Director Pauline Proch shared, “The annual Cardboard Boat Race is truly a lively island event. It’s an excellent opportunity to gather the Nantucket community and celebrate the work of our local students. It also showcases the unique project-based, experiential learning style implemented in our SOO classroom.” Egan Maritime is proud and grateful to our generous donors and partners who help make Sea of Opportunities and our work possible. To learn more, please visit

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Fisher Real Estate