Skip navigation

Education Programs

Nauticus is full of expert educators who share your commitment to inspiring young minds and connect with classroom curriculum through engaging hands-on STEM programs as well as providing insight into STEM and maritime careers. Our programs are a great way to enhance your field trip to Nauticus.


Onsite Programs 

(Note – All Programs 45 mins in length and designed for one class)

If you look around, you will see that there’s life everywhere. But how do these living things survive and thrive? In this program students will learn what living things need to survive and what kinds of habitats are found in and around Hampton Roads. Students will also get an opportunity to see these plants and animals up close and personal.  Educational Standards VA SOLs: 1.4.a, 1.5.a-c, 1.7.a-c, 1.8.a-c

Students will discover the life cycle and ecology of the American eel throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They will explore the transformations occurring at each of the five life stages. Students will act out the American eel life cycle by competing in a relay race. They will then gain an understanding of the strength and persistence demonstrated by the American eel and the many physical obstacles it overcomes during its lifetime. Educational Standards VA SOL 2.4 & 2.5

In this program, our students will become water molecules! Students will learn about the water cycle, the different forms/states of water, and how water transitions from one state to another. Students will then perform hands-on experiments demonstrating water moving from one state to another. To wrap up and get our bodies moving, the students will transform into water molecules themselves and travel through all the different parts of the water cycle. Educational Standards VA SOL 3.9

As citizens of coastal communities, understanding and interpreting tides is useful knowledge for daily life. In this program, students will learn the celestial interactions influencing our local tides. We will review the phases of the moon with a hands-on activity using Oreo cookies to discover how these moon phases affect the tides. Lastly, students will be introduced to common animals of the Chesapeake Bay and uncover the innate ability of these animals to adapt to the changing tides every day by moving through different tidal zones. Educational Standards VA SOL 4.9

What is the purpose of a lighthouse and who makes sure these important aids to navigation are ship shape? In this program students will investigate the history of lighthouses, who served at these navigational aids in the Hampton Roads area, and the amazing science of lighthouse lenses. Students will participate in a hands-on experiment to learn about reflection and refraction.  Educational Standards VA SOL 5.6 & 5.7

Humans have been harvesting energy from water and wind for centuries. Windmills and waterwheels were traditionally used to grind grain and pump water. With the evolution of modern technology, wind turbines and dams have evolved to generate electricity. This program will focus on renewable energy and will culminate with students engineering a functional model to create electricity. Educational Standards VA SOL 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8

In this program, students will be delving into some aspects of global climate change. We will learn how cows and cars are leading to rising global temperatures and how this affects glaciers and oceans. To really see how these things all tie together, we will be doing three different activities/experiments: The Melt Down, Specific Heat Balloons, and Cabbage pH. Educational Standards VA SOL ES.10, ES.11

Traveling over bridges and through tunnels is an everyday occurrence in Hampton Roads.  In this program students will explore the STEM principles behind building safe crossing then construct and test their own working models. Educational Standards VA SOL PS.1, PS.5, PS.8

STEM to STERN- STEM is the wave of the future! These exciting maritime-themed STEM challenges will aid in preparing your students to think critically and creatively, problem-solve, and collaborate with peers. They will engage in our STEM challenge cycle and learn how to overcome obstacles and face challenges head-on.

Battleship Programs (Onsite)

What is it like to forecast the weather on a battleship? Students will explore weather, the instruments used to measure it, and how to collect the data themselves. They will test these skills by creating their own weather instruments and using their knowledge to investigate a historical weather event on BB-64! Educational Standards VA. SOLs – K.1, K.9, 1.1., 1.7, 2.1, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 3.7, 4.1, 4.4, 6.1, 6.7, LS.1, LS.5, ES.1, ES.12

This interactive program will put students’ math skills to the test, while they experience life as a WW2 culinary specialist on the Battleship Wisconsin! Students will analyze & interpret historical documents and discover how sailors lived and functioned abord BB64. They will even walk away with their own WW2 recipe! Educational Standards VA. SOLs – Math 3.1-3.5, 3.7, 3.10, 4.1- 4.6, 4.8, 4.9, 5.1-5.6, 5.9, 5.17, 5.19, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.8, 6.12, 6.14, 7.1 – 7.4, 7.12, 7.13, 8.1, 8.2, 8.8, 8.11, 8.14-8.16 History – 3.1, 3.8, VS.1, VS.9, USI.1, USII.1 USII.5-9

Outreach Programs

How is it possible that a huge Navy ship floats, but a tiny penny sinks immediately? How do sharks and other animals travel through the water? Students will learn all about buoyancy through this interactive experiment that will allow our learners to test and explore for themselves! Educational Standards

Take a closer look at what lives in the Chesapeake Bay! Students will discover how marine animals use their senses and adaptations to survive. This experience will include a virtual animal encounter with some local species that are native to the bay and a Flip and Sense activity book that will help build Science, Math & Engineering skills. Educational Standards

The Elizabeth River is full of marine life we can easily see, but there is also a whole world too small to view with the naked eye. How do these flora & fauna fit into our local marine environment? What are some harmful pollutants that negatively affect them? Students will use a variety of technology to get a closer look at these hidden creatures. Educational Standards 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8, 5.1, 5

BB64 and the other Iowa class battleships are impressive engineering feats. We will take time to dissect and discuss these features and the maritime engineering industry. Students will engage in our STEM to Stern activities that demonstrate basic principles of water and boat construction. The STEM challenge cycle will flex their critical & creative thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills. Educational Standards 6.1,6.6, PS.1, PS.3, PH.1, PH.2, PH.3, PH.7

Title 1 Schools & Nauticus Student Access Program -Apply for Free Programs!