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News Release
Wallace students painting the miniboat
Wallace students painting the miniboat
Join Wallace Elementary 5th Graders In Celebration of Miniboat Completion, Launch (Photo) - 06/02/22

After eight months of designing, building, painting, and planning, the 5th graders at Wallace Elementary have a sea-worthy miniboat and are ready to send it across the ocean. The community is invited to attend the Launching Ceremony on June 9, 2022, at 1:30 PM outside Kelso City Hall (203 South Pacific Street). 

The celebration will include:

  • Miniboat program overview by Nate Sandel of Columbia River Maritime Museum
  • Teacher reflections
  • Naming and spinning of the miniboat (Hull #036)
  • Reading of an original student poem
  • Cargo description, honoring the four winds, raising the sail
  • The Friendship Song sang by Tanesashi Elementary (Japan partners) miniboat students
  • Attaching the flags
  • Salt purification by Kelso’s Mayor Karnofski
  • Presentation of bottle and christening 

After the miniboat is launched, its position at sea will be tracked and available to for public view on a map at

This project was done in conjunction with Columbia River Maritime Museum. Since the program’s start in 2017, more than 1,700 students on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have been involved in the launch of 31 miniboats. This class at Wallace Elementary is the first in Cowlitz County to participate in the program.



  • The Columbia River Maritime Museum Miniboat Program is an exciting hands-on, student-led program that provides a global, multidisciplinary STEAM learning experience for 5th - 8th grade students in the Pacific Northwest and Japan. Students are empowered to cooperatively design, build, launch, and track seaworthy, GPS-equipped boats on a journey across the Pacific Ocean.
  • The program partners students in the Pacific Northwest with their counterparts in Japan, facilitating international exchange and cultural learning. Students share video messages and participate in Zoom visits with each other.
  • Industry visitors provide guidance along the way. Students have worked with the National Weather Service meteorologist, Oregon State University researchers, the Coast Guard, and many more to help plan their boat’s journey.