NC Maritime Museums’ Summer Science Program

NC Maritime Museums’ Summer Science Program brings North Carolina’s coastal environment and culture to life

The North Carolina Maritime Museum, in partnership with the North Carolina Coastal Reserve/National Estuarine Research Reserve, plans to give students an opportunity to learn about the natural and maritime history of coastal North Carolina through creative, hands-on experiences.

For over 50 years, the Summer Science Program has taught children the wonders of the maritime environment. These courses are offered from June through August.

“Summer Science School programs are my favorite programs of the year! It is awesome to watch the children’s passion and curiosity blossom as they encounter new experiences as pirates, explorers, fishermen, and scientists,” stated Christine Brin, School & Group Coordinator for the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

“These Museum programs give students a chance to explore the maritime world and develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the maritime environment” Brin said.

Several of the classes are offered in partnership with the North Carolina Coastal Reserve/National Estuarine Research Reserve. These are hands-on classes that are field-based that bring North Carolina’s coastal environment and culture to life for many children.

Courses offered for the 2017 Summer Science Program

Entering Preschool

Preschool Story Time and Crafts

June 14, July 12, August 9, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Preschool children will enjoy a story, estuarine critter observation and a related craft. Admission is free and advance registration is required.

Entering Grades 1 and 2


June 20-21, July 11-12, and July 18-19, 9 a.m. – Noon
Students become part of a pirate crew on this two-day class and choose how best to prepare for work, ready for battle and divide any prizes that come your way. Fee: $60.

Seashore Life 1

June 21-22, July 20-21, August 16-17, 9 a.m. – Noon
Students will investigate coastal marine life of the tidal flats, salt marshes and sounds on local islands on this two-day class. This field-based classes include ferry ride, barrier island hiking and animal identification. Fee: $60.

Entering Grades 3 & 4

Boats & Models

June 12-14, July 17-19, 9 a.m. – Noon
Students will build a model of a boat (tug June 12-14 or trawler July 17-19) at the Museum’s Watercraft Center. They will use Museum exhibits and field trips to learn about coastal waterways, local boats and the skills needed to work on and around the water. Fee: $95.

Fish & Fishing

July 6-7, July 20-21, 9 a.m. – Noon
Ths course is an introduction to coastal fish and fishing methods. Cane poles, bait, and tackle are provided for dock fishing for this two-day class. Students also use nets to catch and identify marine life in near shore waters. Fee: $75.

Entering Grades 5 & 6

Science of Surfboards

August 1-2, 9 a.m. – Noon
Students will use Museum exhibits and field trips to learn how surfboards have evolved down through the years, from heavy wooden boards weighing in excess of 150 pounds to today’s state of the art boards made of modern polymers weighing less than 10 pounds. They will also learn about various methods used to fabricate surfboards. Fee: $75.

Seashore Life 2

July 5-7, July 17-19, August 2-4, 9 a.m. – Noon
Students will investigate estuarine habitats, plants and animals through field and lab studies. This three-day course includes a field trip to the Rachel Carson National Estuarine Research Reserve, water quality testing, using microscopes for plankton identification and many more activities. Fee: $60.

Entering Grades 7 – 10

Maritime Myths: Kraken’s, Mermaids & Pirates

July 18-20, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Throughout history there have been sightings of strange creatures in the waters off North Carolina. Students will work together to investigate sightings of sea monsters from the Crystal Coast and around the world. They will also investigate legends like the infamous Blackbeard and his ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, the Burning Ship of Ocracoke, and ghostly sightings around historic sites like Fort Macon. After consulting with local maritime experts, visiting significant sites and dissecting a creature once called a sea monster, students will decide for themselves if these myths are based on fact. Fee: $85.

According to Lori Davis, Education Coordinator for the Rachel Carson Reserve has been an integral part of the Summer Science Program since 2010. “We provide children with the opportunity navigate through the estuarine habitats and discuss the variety of flora and fauna that exist on the island, she said.

The emphasis throughout the Summer Science Program is on small class sizes to encourage active participation. Students travel with instructors by van or boat to field sites. Only registered children may attend classes. Lodging facility not available; parents/guardians provide transportation to/from class daily.

“Once again we are thrilled that the Rachel Carson Component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve will again partner with the maritime museum to host educational programs for students of all ages, stated David Cartier, Public Relations Coordinator for the North Carolina Maritime Museum system.

There is a course fee for all classes. Advance registration is required as space is limited. Parents are encouraged to register children for any or all of the sessions by calling the North Carolina Maritime Museum Program Registrar Francoise Boardman at 252-728-7317 ext. 31 or via email at Early registration is encouraged to ensure participation.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum is located at 315 Front Street in Beaufort, NC. The Museum is open Monday thru Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The Museums is open to the public with free admission. Donations are always appreciated. For more information on educational programs and events, visit