Schoolship Programs

The mission of Inland Seas Education Association is to “promote stewardship of the Great Lakes through hands-on education.” When you bring your class on-board the schooner, your students will gain a unique insight into the basic ecology of the Great Lakes. Students become scientists for the day and assist veteran volunteer instructors with the collection and analysis of Great Lakes samples, including fish, plankton and organisms that live along the bottom (benthos). This hands-on experience often translates into an increased awareness of the Great Lakes and promotes stewards.

 

Our Spring and Fall Schoolship experiences have the same core activities, but emphasize different strengths of the program.

Our Fall Schoolship program combines an exciting introduction to science with team-building and leadership development every teacher wishes to introduce at the beginning of the school year. Students work as a team to sail a traditional tall ship schooner. They also collaborate to collect and analyze Great Lakes fish, water, benthos and plankton samples with trained instructors. Students evaluate the overall health of the Lake Michigan ecosystem, and consider how they are personally connected to the Great Lakes. The experiences and knowledge from this unforgettable day can be referenced throughout the school year to help students reflect on group dynamics and understand real-world applications of science and math.

Our Spring Schoolship program is a great culmination to the school year. Students are charged with collecting Great Lakes water and wildlife samples and then analyzing them to evaluate the health of the Lake Michigan ecosystem. By applying the science and math concepts they’ve learned all school year, students are able to make complex evaluations of the ecosystem as well as better understand their roles as Great Lakes stewards. Students also experience the thrill of working together to carry out the responsibilities of sailing a traditional tall ship schooner.

We have two new Schoolship Programs for classes that want something more in-depth than the traditional program. The Next Gen Schoolship Program is open to classes from 4th–12th grade, and the Diving Deeper Schoolship Program is open to  high school students. Get more information on our Schoolship Programs by clicking the links below.

Quotes from Teachers

“As my students go on to become all kinds of professionals—physicians and lawyers and engineers and business people, etc.—they take with them the feeling of how precious the Great Lakes are, and a sense of personal ownership in protecting the great lakes.”

“I have had two students go on to gain advanced degrees in water-related science areas. One has her master’s degree and works for NPR. The other has his doctorate in environmental toxicology and works for the EPA. Both attribute their work today to the things we did in our high school limno class like sailing!”

View our Schoolship Brochure or Request Your Schoolship Date now

Traditional Schoolship

Traditional Schoolship Image

The Traditional Schoolship Program is a time-tested, student-approved program where students get hands-on with a wide variety of lake organisms and experience the thrill of sailing a tall ship schooner. The program begins with creature collection directly from the lake, and ends with up-close interactions with fish, plankton, organisms from the bottom of the lake, and water quality testing. Students work together to raise the sails and haul in the anchor, and discover how 45 tons of steel can float. Plus, everyone gets an opportunity to steer the ship!

  • Lake samples collected in a large group with the lead instructor
  • Every student participates in all ecology stations: fish, plankton, benthos, water quality
  • Seamanship station: Everyone gets a chance to steer the ship
  • Stewardship discussion at program end
  • Best for groups who want a fun and introductory experience with the Great Lakes

The Schoolship program is designed for students from 4th–12th grade and is a half-day science learning adventure aboard ISEA’s 77′ schooner Inland Seas or the chartered 112′ schooner Manitou. The curriculum can be easily modified for the knowledge of the students onboard. The onboard curriculum is designed to complement the Michigan Curriculum Framework Science Benchmarks in physical, biological, and earth sciences, as well as history and geography.

The Spring Schoolship program runs from early May–mid June and the Fall Schoolship runs from early September–early October. The sails are three and a half (3.5) hours in duration. Morning groups arrive at 8:30 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m. Afternoon groups arrive at 1:15 p.m. and return at 5:15 p.m.

The fee for a half-day program aboard the Schoolship is $825. The capacity onboard Inland Seas is 32 and the capacity onboard Manitou is 35. The actual cost of the program is $2,475 and is subsidized thanks to the generous support of our individual members, donors, and other foundations and grants.

Next Gen Schoolship Program

Next Gen Schoolship Image
While all of our programs emphasize the power of small-group learning, the Next Gen Schoolship Program takes it to the next level. Students work in teams to collect creatures and water samples from the lake, then teach each other what they learned in an upbeat, low-stakes round robin. Hands-on learning stations explore fish, plankton, the bottom of the lake, and water quality. In addition, teams of students raise the sails and haul up the anchor so we can sail the Bay throughout the program.

  • Lake samples collected in a small groups with station instructors
  • Students teach each other how to collect samples
  • Every student participates in all ecology stations: fish, plankton, benthos, water quality
  • Choose a Microplastics or Seamanship station to customize the experience
    • Microplastics: Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic found in all our waterways and in the Great Lakes food web.
      • Students get involved in an ongoing Great Lakes research project conducted by Dr. Sheri Mason, by using a manta trawl to tow the Bay and examining the sample for microplastics.
      • Each small group helps with a different part of the sample collection and processing.
      • Students work out solutions for keeping plastics out of our waterways, and most get to steer the ship.
      • Best for groups wanting to do more with Great Lakes science, and who want to connect personal action with Great Lakes health.
    • Seamanship: Our tall ship schooner is the perfect place to explore the physics of how boats work.
      • Students learn why some things float and other things sink (buoyancy), how a keel and ballast provide stability, and how rudders work.
      • We discuss the importance of Great Lakes shipping and the roles of ships and boaters in protecting Great Lakes health.
      • All students get to steer the ship.
      • Best for groups wanting hands-on experiences with physics concepts, and who want to connect Great Lakes shipping with economic and environmental well being of the Great Lakes.
  • Stewardship discussion at program end
  • Best for groups who want a fun and introductory experience with the Great Lakes, plus a leadership experience for students, since students will be the teacher for part of the program.

ISEA’s Next Gen Schoolship program is a half-day science learning adventure aboard ISEA’s 77′ schooner Inland Seas or the chartered 112′ schooner Manitou. It is designed for students from 4th–12th grade. The curriculum can be easily modified for the knowledge of the students onboard. The onboard curriculum is designed to complement the Michigan Curriculum Framework Science Benchmarks in physical, biological, and earth sciences, as well as history and geography.

The Spring Schoolship program runs from early May–mid June and the Fall Schoolship runs from early September–early October. The sails are three and a half (3.5) hours in duration. Morning groups arrive at 8:30 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m. Afternoon groups arrive at 1:15 p.m. and return at 5:15 p.m.

The fee for a half-day program aboard the Schoolship is $825. The capacity onboard Inland Seas is 32 and the capacity onboard Manitou is 35. The actual cost of the program is $2,475 and is subsidized thanks to the generous support of our individual members, donors, and other foundations and grants

Diving Deeper Schoolship Program

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis program is for the high school student who has a sense of what the Great Lakes are and what they mean, and is ready to go deeper. Students in this program will collaborate to answer research questions using professional limnology equipment and historical Schoolship data. Each student team will focus on different research topics and will thus gain competence in sampling procedures and proficiency in their area of study. Teams will cement understanding by sharing their expertise with each other before leaving the ship. An authentic research experience is at the heart of this program, however, schooner operations continue throughout. Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with crewmembers to navigate and pilot the vessel, and handle sails and lines.

The Diving Deeper program sets teachers up to do further data analysis and report writing back in the classroom, but can also stand on its own if you are unable to extend the experience. This program can provide to your students meaningful research questions and content exploration, yet is flexible enough to accommodate the particular research questions or experiential learning your students want to explore. Contact us to get the details on how your students can design their own sail.

  • Students work in small research groups focused on one topic for the whole program.
  • Original research questions examine the status of Suttons Bay and can be modified to suit student interest.
  • Students collect multiple samples and make comparisons between them.
  • Data analysis and comparison to historical records.
  • Students teach each other about their research and results.
  • Dedicated time for each group to participate in ship operations, doing things that students don’t get to do on the Traditional and Next-Gen programs.
  • Stewardship discussion at program end.
  • Best for groups looking for an authentic research experience.

ISEA’s Schoolship program is a half-day science learning adventure aboard ISEA’s 77′ schooner Inland Seas. The Spring Schoolship program runs from early May–mid June and the Fall Schoolship runs from early September–early October. The sails are three and a half (3.5) hours in duration. Morning groups arrive at 8:30 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m. Afternoon groups arrive at 1:15 p.m. and return at 5:15 p.m.

The fee for a half-day program aboard the Schoolship is $825. The capacity onboard Inland Seas is 32 and the capacity onboard Manitou is 35. The actual cost of the program is $2,475 and is subsidized thanks to the generous support of our individual members, donors, and other foundations and grants.

Add a ROV Program to Your Day


Challenge your group to explore Grand Traverse Bay and the world of Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) with Inland Seas’ new underwater challenge course. This 2.5 hour program allows students to operate a state-of-the-art ROV through a challenge course designed to replicate challenges faced in industry; from environmental research to oil & gas exploration.

Cost is $300.

More information is available on our ROV Program page.

 

Preparing for Your Sail:                                                                                           E-mail Reminders:

Request Schoolship Dates                                                                                       Fall 2016 Sign Up

Schoolship Manifest                                                                                                 Teacher Packet

Inland Seas Safety Video                                                                                         One Month Away!

Parent and Student Information                                                                           Your Field Trip is Two Weeks Away

Teacher and Chaperone Information                                                         Start the Countdown! One Week Away!

Preparing for the Schoolship Experience

Student Logbook Inland Seas

Student Logbook Manitou

Additional Materials for Diving Deeper

Diving Deeper Prezi Presentation

Diving Deeper Group Responsibilities 2017

Diving Deeper Research Questions 2017

Diving Deeper Study Design Worksheet 2017

Link to 2015 Diving Deeper Data and Figures

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