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Channel Islands Maritime Museum offers Maritime Adventure Tours for small classes or multi-age groups. Maritime Adventures are a good choice for a home school group or after-school program.

These interactive tours are 90 minutes long and consist of 3 activities appropriate to the ages of your students. Each tour is custom-designed to meet the needs and interests of your group.  Activities at the museum are intended for school-age children in grades 3-12 and their families.

The maximum age range within a tour of a mixed group is 3 years or grade levels. We ask that parents not bring along younger siblings. While at the museum, we encourage families to extend their visit beyond the tour and explore the rest of the exhibits in the museum.  Interactive activity guides are available for guided exploration with parental support. Alternative tours are available during museum hours 11-5. Admission is $5 per student or adult and includes hands on materials and take home folders and pencils. This program accommodates a minimum of 8 students and 2 adults, maximum of 30 students.  Groups must consist of children with no more than a three year grade span so that age level appropriate activities can be presented. For smaller groups, only 2 activities will be presented.

If your students have special needs, please advise the Museum in advance so it can accommodate our programs to their needs.

Activities may include 3 from among the following:


Suitable for grades 3-12

Students will explore the exhibit with a partner, searching for information about the Port of Hueneme, which is the largest port on the coast of California between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Students will find out that there are products that they use and consume on a daily basis that come through the Port of Hueneme. They will also learn which countries are involved in the import and export of products locally and the types of vessels that are used. They will also learn about the maritime history of the area, how and why the port was developed, and where the name “Hueneme” came from.


Suitable for grades 4-12

Five works of fine art are shared, each telling a story about a moment in time in California coastal history. Docents teach art appreciation concepts as well as the historical significance of each piece, weaving a story that ties each of the individual masterpieces to tell the greater story. Students will then revisit each piece of art, review concepts learned and are encouraged to make predictions.


Suitable for grades 3-8

Students are challenged with activities that incorporate geography, critical thinking and creative writing skills.

They will be introduced to early nautical explorers and their contributions to exploration and discovery of North America. Models of the actual ships that the explorers sailed on as well as maps and globes will be shared.


Suitable for grades for 4-8

This portion of the tour focuses on the Chinese treasure ships that sailed between 1405 and 1433. Students engage in an interactive, hands- on exercise to predict cargo items traded by these ships between China and other ancient empires. Students also identify China’s trading partners, increasing their knowledge of the geography of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A model of the ship, which was the largest wooden ship ever built, is on display for students to view.


Suitable for grades 3-6

Students will become familiar with different types of whales, and then study the Museum’s rich collection of scrimshaw artifacts. They will then learn a brief history of the whaling history, explore the life of a sailor on a whaling ship, and end with reviewing the alternative materials used by scrimshaw artists today. Finally, students create their own “scrimshaw” masterpiece.


Suitable for grades 3-4

Students will be introduced to different types of vessels, how they are powered (sails, oars, motor), and different sizes (boats or ships). They then tour the museum viewing works of art in the form of paintings and ship models, identifying and categorizing each one, as well as look out the windows at the vessels in the harbor. Finally, they are given a small art lesson and given the opportunity to draw their own seascape using their new knowledge of boats.


Suitable for grades 3-8

Students will travel through 3 different galleries exploring both paintings and ship models from the 17th century to modern.  Their goal is to find specific details in 6 different pieces of art in each gallery. A docent will guide students to help them on their search and tell them more about each piece of art as they find it.


Suitable for grades 3-5

Students will find answers to specific questions by hunting for objects on display in several exhibits, including ship models, shipwreck artifacts, globes, and whale bones.


Suitable for grades 3-5

(Signal Flags) Students will find out how ships “talk” to each other through the use of signal flags, and will learn the universal signal flag alphabet. They will spell out and read words in signal flag letters, form their own signal flag word, or write their names in signal flags. (I SPY) Students will become familiar with life in the harbor, as well as different types of animal life and boats. Looking out the windows in the Upper Deck Gallery, students will search for these items.


Suitable for grades 4-6

Students explore the Upper Deck of the museum in search of objects in various exhibits, from The Age of Exploration to the Port of Hueneme and whales. At each object, docents share interesting information about the object and pose real life math problems.  Students are led to a discussion about how to solve the problem, using mathematical reasoning skills.  Students create equations to solve the problems which they can bring back to school or home to calculate.


Suitable for grades 4-8

Students are guided to look at paintings as the docent points out the elements of design and basic artistry techniques, such as shape, line, texture, horizon line and perspective. Moving on to another painting, students identify and label the same elements and make their own observations on a line drawing of the painting. Lastly, students will look at another painting, imagining that they are an artist in the field and make their own sketch of the scene, using the techniques they learned.


Suitable for grades 3-12

Students will explore the geography, topography, as well as plant and animal life on each of the 5 islands. Through a video and docent explanation, students will identify the different animals that live on each separate islands.


Suitable for grades 4-8

Students share what they know about whales and find out which whales can be seen along our local coast. Then they discover some amazing facts in an interactive game where they find a partner and share information.

Maritime Adventures: History
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