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Student Access Program

Nauticus is proud to offer the Student Access Program, allowing eligible Hampton Roads Title 1 schools to receive funding for an onsite field trip to include admission and an education program or outreach program on their campus to meet the needs of their students.

Studies show that, if engaged at an early age, students are more likely to pursue science in high school and college, potentially leading to careers in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and math. This engagement is especially crucial for children from disadvantaged families, for whom the rapid growth of STEM-related careers provides an economic opportunity.

Title I schools are also less likely to offer field trips or other out-of-school enrichment opportunities as a result of focusing resources and instructional time on improving test outcomes.

This program is made possible in 2020 through generous funding by the Tidewater Children’s Foundation


Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the Student Access Program, schools must currently meet three criteria:

  • Be located in Hampton Roads, Virginia
  • Be classified as a Title 1 School
  • At least fifty percent of the student body qualifies for free/reduced lunch

Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are currently closed. Please check back in January 2023 for updates.



Student Access Program FAQs

Funds are available to Title 1 schools located in Hampton Roads, VA.  Nauticus Student Access funds are NOT for siblings, family member or friends of approved students or chaperones.  Funds cannot be used to cover transportation.

Per application, funds can be used to cover the cost of:

  • Onsite – Admission and a classroom program at Nauticus for up to 50 students and 10 Free teachers/chaperones. 
  • Outreach – 1 classroom program at your school for up to 30 students
  • Virtual – 1 classroom program for your school for up to 50 students

Chaperone Ratio: PreK -12th (1:5); Special Needs (1:1). The financial assistance will be provided for an exact number of students and teacher/chaperones, for the funding request above. Funding does not include family or friends. Any additional attendees will be required to pay full group rate price. Funding may not be used for transportation.

Applicants can apply for up to 50 students with 10 chaperones for a field trip (maximum two applications per school if different grades). Funding covers the cost of self-guided general admission tickets for students/chaperones in addition to one education program of the applicant’s choice. Funding does not provide funding for transportation or lunch.

Applicants can apply for up to 50 students for 1 virtual education program. (maximum two applications per school if different grades)

Applicants can apply for up to 30 students for 1 outreach education program. (maximum two applications per school if different grades).

All applicants must submit a new application for each school year as requirements may change. Incomplete applications will NOT be processed. Maximum two applications per school if different grades.

  • Complete the application online. Funding is not guaranteed, and is provided on a first come, first served basis. It is recommended to submit your application early, as some groups will be placed on a waiting list if funds are not readily available.
  • A confirmation email will be sent once your application is received and processed. This may take up to 2 weeks.
  • Please keep in mind that standards-based programs must be booked a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. Although booking further out is encouraged to ensure availability.
  • Approved groups will be contacted by Nauticus’ Group Sales Manager to schedule their visit. Groups will have 30 days to schedule their visit or program. Approved groups who have not finalized bookings within 30 days will forfeit their funding for the year.

Nauticus Student Access Program Checklist:

  • Applicant Information – Filled out completely, be prepared to submit information
    • Explanation of undeserved status: Demographic description of the group (i.e. financial, special needs, physical, mental or ESL)
    • Educational rationale-How will a Nauticus program meet special learning requirements and/or specific Virginia SOLs and curriculum being studied at the time of your program

Black out dates may apply. Please contact Nate Sandel, Director of Education & Community Engagement for additional information.

You must notify the Group Reservations Manager by email at least one week in advance if you need to reschedule or cancel your onsite, virtual or outreach program. No-show schools will not be allowed to apply for future program funds. For onsite programs/field trips, if the forecast predicts inclement weather, the Group Reservations Manager will work with each group to reschedule for a later date.

Transportation to and from is not included in funding for schools. 

School groups are allowed to bring their lunches to eat on the Nauticus Campus. At this time, box lunches are not available for purchase through the Nauticus Café.

Lunch is not included through Student Access Program funding. 

All applicants must be agree to submit a follow up survey and report based on students experience within 2 weeks of field trip. Survey will be sent via email at the completion of the program. 

Please contact Please contact Nate Sandel, Director of Education & Community Engagement for additional information.

Applications for the 2022-2023 school year are currently closed

Questions? Contact Nate Sandel, Director of Education & Community Engagement