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, offering students the opportunity to learn about the natural and maritime history of coastal North Carolina during the school break. These courses are offered from June through August.

Advance registration is required. Registration begins Jan. 24.

To register online, click on the class title in the list below. Or for more information or to register by phone, contact Program Registrar Sharon Griffin at (252) 504-7758 or

Scholarships for Students

A limited number of scholarships are available. Contact Benjamin Wunderly at 252-504-7741 or email for information or to apply.

Courses offered for the 2023 Summer Science School

Entering Grades 1 and 2


July 20-21, August 2-3 • 9 a.m.–noon

Pirate food, clothes, and treasure! Ten young pirates and their fearless captain will work together to learn how pirates like Blackbeard lived, dressed, ate and worked. The pirate crew will work together to set the rules of the ship, learn some battle skills with their wooden weapons and, at the end, go on a pirate-worthy hunt through the Museum to locate hidden treasure. Advance registration is required. Fee: $90.

Seashore Life 1

July 10-11, August 8-9 • 9 a.m.–noon

Investigate coastal marine life of the tidal flats, salt marshes and sounds on local islands during this two-day class. The field-based classes include ferry ride, barrier island hiking and animal identification. Fee: $90.

Entering Grade 3

Fish & Fishing

June 27, July 7, August 4 • 9 a.m.–noon

This course is an introduction to coastal fish and fishing methods. Cane poles, bait, and tackle are provided for dock fishing for this one-day class. Students also use nets to catch and identify marine life in near-shore waters and create take-home artwork. Fee: $45.

Entering Grade 4

Boats & Models

June 20-21, July 18-19 • 9 a.m.-noon

Build a model of a sportfishing boat at the museum’s Watercraft Center. Use museum exhibits and field trips to learn about boats used for offshore charter fishing and some of the fish targeted by fishermen aboard these uniquely designed vessels. Fee: $90.

Entering Grades 5 & 6

Seashore Life II

June 27-29, July 12-14 • 9 a.m.-noon

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: $120.

Entering Grades 7-10

Coastal Adventures

July 25-27 • 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Students will learn more in depth the importance of estuaries and coastal processes in this three-day camp that includes a field trip to the Rachel Carson Reserve, plankton observing, squid dissections, bird watching, and many more hands-on scientific experiments. Fee: $120.