Le Vent dans les Voiles de l’Hermione : school contest



In parnership with the French Cultural Center and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

In a Nutshell


"Le Vent dans les voiles de l’Hermione" is a contest organized by the Cultural and Educational Services of the Consulate General of France in Boston for the arrival of the frigate l’Hermione (Lafayette’s ship when he sailed to America in 1780) in Boston on July 11, 2015 and the United Nation’s upcoming Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015. Students in French are invited to build an eco-friendly sail that illustrates the history of the Hermione and promotes environmental awareness.

All the sails will be temporarily shown at different exhibition halls during spring and summer 2015 (specific locations to be announced soon).

Who can participate?

All New England classes of French, from middle school to high school, may enter this contest.


Your class’s sail must be submitted by March 15, 2015 . The results of the contest will be disclosed mid-May, 2015. The sail can be sent or delivered in person to the following address:

Magali Boutiot – Cultural Services
Consulat Général de France à Boston
31 Saint James Avenue, Suite 750
Boston, MA 02116

How to enter the contest

The Assignment

Each entry must include both a sail (with a slogan written onto the sail) and a short text explaining the class’s project.

The sail



Frigate sails - (c) Claire en France

Each class must produce a sail made with recyclable or recycled materials.

  • Height: 3’3" maximum (one meter)
  • Width: 6’6" maximum (two meters)
  • Must be transportable by car (either rolled up or folded)
  • You must include a way to hang up the sail to a wall or a pole (hooks, eyelets, etc.)

The sail must be made from entirely natural or recyclable materials. All types of materials, as long as they are eco-friendly, will be accepted.

Suggested materials:

  • Natural: wood, natural fiber (silk, wool, cotton, etc.), stone, etc.
  • Recyclable: paper, steel, glass, aluminum cans, foil, certain types of plastic (plastic bottles, clamshell packaging, etc.), etc.
  • Length : Up to five lines maximum
  • Must be written on the sail (either painted, glued, etc.)
  • Language : Must be written in FRENCH
  • Content : Must address the theme of climate change and/or ways to help reduce pollution
Online pedagogical resources :

The text

In addition to (and independently from) the sail, each class must submit a short text explaining their idea.

  • Length : Between 100 and 200 words (10-15 lines)
  • Content : the text must include (but need not be limited to)
    • A list of materials used and why they were chosen
    • An explanation of the slogan and of the creative choices made by the class
  • Language : classes are encouraged to write their texts in French, an effort which the jury may reward with extra points, but texts in English will also be accepted and will not be penalized.

Jury and Prizes

The Jury

The jury is composed of Emmanuelle Marchand, Cultural Attaché; Magali Boutiot, Educational and Linguistic Assistant; one member of the French Cultural Center; and two French teachers from the New England region.

Each project will be judged on the following three criteria:

  • Visual and technical quality of the sail (40% of the overall grade)
  • Relevance to the theme of climate change (40% of the overall grade)
  • Content and form of the text / level of French of the slogan (20% of the overall grade)


1st prize:

2nd prize:

3rd prize:

  • Copies of original ancient maps from Lafayette’s time for each student
  • Guided tour of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center
  • Copy of "Poitou-Charentes - 365 jours", by Emmanuel Peraud, edited by Geste Editions

All the sails will be temporarily shown at different exhibition halls during spring and summer 2015 (specific locations to be announced soon).

Last modified on 19/01/2019

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