Scientific Inquiry Aboard the Gundalow
Join us for a one of a kind scientific inquiry experience aboard our floating classroom, the only operating Gundalow in the world, the PISCATAQUA. This program engages students in the scientific process and walks each class through conducting their own scientific experiments using oceanographic tools and sampling equipment.
Each Scientists at Sea Program starts with a 1-hour classroom visit where students gain background knowledge needed to plan their experiment. By exploring the scientific process and using students own knowledge and curiosity, students work in small groups to design a scientific hypothesis. These hypotheses become the guide for planning their scientific exploration on the Gundalow.
During the 3-hour sail on the Gundalow, students work in 3 watch groups to gather data for their scientific research projects. Our staff use the time onboard to engage students in deploying the scientific equipment and analyzing the results. In addition to the deployments, we also offer opportunities for students to set the sail, steer the boat, do an otter trawl and learn about the role of the Gundalow in the Piscataqua Region.
Following the sail, a member of our crew comes back into the classroom to help students synthesize their data. Each group examines the data collected while on the Gundalow and makes conclusions on their research project. Classes are encouraged to present their research to their school or community through displays, posters or presentations
Our sailing season begins mid-May and runs through October, with sails offered mornings and afternoons Monday through Friday. Most of our sails leave from Prescott Park in Portsmouth, although each season the Piscataqua visits one or two towns “up river” or in Great Bay, and we’ll be happy to arrange programs in other towns when possible. For schools that are far away or who have time constraints, the classroom visits can also be done the day of the program on shore in Prescott Park.
Our activities are correlated with state frameworks and closely aligned with principles of both estuarine and ocean literacy. Your students will come away from this experience with a greater ability to problem solve, think critically, and work as a group.
Gundalow crew will work with you to customize the trip and guarantee your class a meaningful educational experience.
See how our Scientist at Sea Program aligns with state and national standards: scientists-at-sea-with-standards
We look forward to seeing you on board the Piscataqua!