Mass Maritime to Add JFK Connection to 2019 Follow The Voyage Program

BUZZARDS BAY – With the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s Sea Term readying to turn to January, the school’s Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience Program will feature a new and exciting addition.

January 10th marks the tenth anniversary of the renaming of the 540-foot training ship from the Enterprise to the Kennedy. To honor this milestone, Mass Maritime has formed a partnership with the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the JFK Hyannis Museum,” said Mass Maritime STEM Outreach Coordinator Nancy Franks.

“On our website we will have questions of the week related to JFK and his connection to the ocean and the legacy of the family as well.”

Teachers and students will discover the legacy the nation’s 35th President through the six week program.

Plans are underway to welcome Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience participants and their families to the museum following the six-week adventure. The gathering will provide students with an opportunity to display their projects and discuss activities related to President Kennedy.

In 2019, the TS Kennedy’s second port of call will be San Juan, Puerto Rico, where President John F. Kennedy stopped in December of 1961. Miami, Florida will be the ship’s final port of call where President Kennedy visited in November 1963.

Thanks to MMA’s Follow The Voyage Program, students are able to escape the cold and bitter New England winter as they virtually travel to warmer climates aboard the Academy’s training ship. Cadets apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at sea while students take part in parallel lessons back in their classrooms.

“The Follow The Voyage Program began about 22 years ago. A cadet at the Academy chose to do a senior project where the cadets on the ship communicated with eighth graders at Hanson Middle School, and over the past 22 years it has expanded.

“In 2018, we had 10,000 students following from 23 different states and now rather than just being eighth grade, the program spotlights kindergarten through grade 12.”

Thanks to daily cadet blogs, the Captain’s Log, posts from two pirate mascots, photos, videos, and special features, students back ashore are able to share the experience with the cadets.

“It’s a virtual STEM adventure at sea through cadet blogs, a captain’s log, photos, videos and other special features, students feel like they’re right on the ship with the cadets,” Franks said.

“The takeaway is that it allows students back home to see the science and mathematics that they’re learning back in their classroom to see it actually being applied on the ship and see what the cadets are doing day-to-day. It’s the best way to learn.”

Students will observe cadets tackle challenging topics such as weather forecasting, celestial navigation, ocean currents, rust removal, engine maintenance, sewerage treatment, firefighting, and seawater desalination. Students also experience the food, art, and culture of the ship’s four exciting ports of call.

Many Cape Cod Schools, both public and private, have already registered for the 2019 Program.

“Although we have close to 10,000 students participating across the United States, we’re really focusing on getting as many Cape Cod schools involved, both public and private. Many of our cadets on the TS Kennedy call Cape Cod home and it would be great students here following them,” Franks explained.

Interested K-12 educators can still sign up by reaching out to Nancy Franks at before Wednesday, December 19. This program is free of charge.

By TIM DUNN, News Center

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy