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Our K-12 Education page is geared toward education partnerships and highlights the experience we can provide through in-depth, multi-engagement learning. Maritime Gloucester has provided this type of experiential, place-based learning with Gloucester Public Schools since 2004. We have recently expanded and improved our facilities, enabling us to provide programmatic partnerships with additional schools and organizations. If you are more interested in a shorter, field trip style program please click here to visit our field trip page.  

If you are interested in a longer engagement, you've come to the right place! We are excited to work with you to utilize our facilities and expertise to match your educational goals. We have to educational tracts, Marine Science and Maritime Heritage but many of our programs will pull from both educational departments to take advantage of all we have to offer. Please read on to learn more about our educational approach. 


Ocean Explorers - Marine Science Programming

Ocean Explorers is Maritime Gloucester’s foundational program and has been a part of our organization since 2004.  It maximizes year-round use of our facility for educational programming. It is available to Cape Ann area schools, and to other school districts on the North Shore.


This program enables us to share our resources with children in the community who do not have easy access to boats, to scientific equipment or to settings where they are encouraged to engage in hands-on activities designed to demystify natural phenomena that occur in their immediate environment. Thanks to our current funders, the Amelia Peabody Foundation, the Gloucester Education Foundation, the Educational Foundation for Rockport, Applied Materials, the Bruce J Anderson Foundation and the McCarthy Family Fund, the program has given Maritime Gloucester recognition as a provider of high quality science instruction.  

Ocean Explorers currently brings each 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class in the Gloucester Public Schools system to Maritime Gloucester on spring and fall field trips to participate in hands-on marine and physical science activities. At Maritime Gloucester, each class rotates through three one-hour learning units, all aligned with the Massachusetts State Science Standards 


During their spring visit to Maritime Gloucester, all students participate in one learning unit aboard the Schooner Ardelle, a 55' representation of a pinky schooner originally built by Ebenezer Burnham in 1845. The Ardelle was launched by Captain Harold Burnham at his shipyard in Essex, MA in 2011. Coast Guard certified to carry 49 passengers, the Ardelle serves as a floating educational platform and is fully integrated into Maritime Gloucester’s ongoing education programs.


In the winter, Maritime Gloucester staff present in-class lessons for our classroom partners. The purpose of these lessons is to further develop and reinforce the subjects explored during the site visits. All lesson plans are aligned with the Massachusetts State Frameworks, but these place-based, hands-on, inquiry-based learning modules are what really bring the experiences to life. 

At Maritime Gloucester, students benefit from the opportunity to engage in hands-on explorations in both life and physical science that would not be possible to replicate in the classroom. Through these explorations, students are introduced to science process skills that are developmentally appropriate for their age level, expand their science vocabulary and explore content areas that are directly linked to their classroom curricula. Learning units have been developed and refined with input from Science Team Lead Teachers for each grade and complement the work that the students are doing in the classroom. Maritime Gloucester also provides pre- and post-visit materials that teachers incorporate as a part of their classroom lessons. 

Ocean Explorers

MATE Program - Maritime Heritage Programming

Our new MATE program continues a student's education journey with us once they have completed our Ocean Explorers program or reached 11 years of age. Designed for middle school and early high school age students, MATE programming focuses on a range of maritime heritage skills including knot tying, seamanship, tool use, and basic physical science. Our MATE program will include both in-school and after-school programs to be made available to the widest range of students. Our goal with this program is to build maritime skills and reconnect North Shore youth with the cultural heritage of our region. We aim to build a knowledge base and spark the interest for some participants to move up to our apprentice program conducted in partnership with Harold Burnham.

To learn more about our Apprentice Program please click here

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