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Quick! Take a Kid Boating

As summer winds down, the kids in your life will start thinking about the school lunch program, playing organized sports, and, yes, even classes and books. What does this mean to you? It’s a stark reminder that your opportunities to get out on the water with those young people will be even more limited.

This seems relevant since I’ve seen ads for “Project Shiphunt” a program from Sony and Intel that let five Michigan high-school students use their powerful new laptops (and some help from oceanographers) to find a shipwreck in Lake Huron, soon to be a documentary on a cable channel near you. The video above shows the students scrolling through electronic charts and deciphering images from side-scanning sonar—all very nice, if a bit heavy on the product placement.

There are two lessons here: Young people like to learn new things, and school, while necessary, doesn’t always offer the most nurturing environment. Think back to when you were a kid—remember when your boating mentor first let you take the wheel? The bell will soon ring: Get those kids out on the water, and get them involved. Who knows? They may even be able to help you set your electronics up the way you’ve always wanted them.