Maritime Education in the National Capital Region

Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region has been providing elementary, middle, and high school students with unique hands-on, interdisciplinary environmental education programs aboard historic ships and on land since 2001. During our programs, students are transformed into marine biologists, captains, and scientists while onboard historic Chesapeake Bay buy boat, Mildred Belle. Our interdisciplinary program emphasizes applied learning in the environment, science, math, language arts, and history. Key objectives are leadership and teamwork as everyone works together to raise and lower sails, trawl for marine life, conduct scientific experiments, and explore the commerce, natural resources, and ecosystems of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

Our experiential learning stations include water quality testing, studying plankton under video microscopes, oyster dissection and population discussion, trawling and identifying marine life, learning navigation and a buoyancy challenge.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Maritime Education team reimagined our signature hands-on program in order to reach students in their homes and assist teachers in preventing learning loss during remote learning.  The dynamic distance learning program includes a 90-minute live session with our educators, Living Classrooms Activity Boxes delivered for each student with all necessary supplies for guided hands-on experiments, complete watershed science curriculum and teacher resources, and supplemental videos and digital content.  This virtual program will continue to be an available option for groups even after our boats return to the water.


Information and Reservations


To book a trip for your school, Scout, community group, or just a group of friends and family members please contact:


Remember we offer full-day, weekend, overnight, and multi-day programs, as well as an online virtual option!!

Questions about booking or planning for an upcoming trip? Download our FAQ Here.


Students were served through virtual maritime education in 2020.


Average student score on the marine environmental learning post-assessment


The number of student days our educators engaged students and helped mitigate learning loss in 2020.