Our elementary school programs are place-based and hands-on and use inquiry methods to provide experiential learning to students. During all our programs, students use their senses to heighten their learning and make thoughtful connections to promote stewardship.
Sailing and learning on the gundalow Piscataqua is a transforming experience! This unique educational opportunity is available mornings and afternoons mid-May through October on the tidal waters of New Hampshire and southern Maine. These program are designed for schools, camps, clubs, or any group with an interest in our watershed. Our 65 foot Gundalow is Coast Guard inspected and can accommodate up to 27 students.
CELEBRATING OUR RIVERS PROGRAM
PROGRAM LENGTH: up to 2.5 hours (bring 2 classes in 1 day and combine a sail with our Waterfront program, or spend part of the day at Strawbery Banke)
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. Gundalow crew will work with you to customize the trip and guarantee your class a meaningful educational experience.
During school sails on the PISCATAQUA, students are engaged at customized learning stations related to exploration of the waterways and the operation of the gundalow, and work with the crew to set the sail, steer, and navigate. Activities are hands-on and place-based, combining concepts from social studies, science, math, art, and language arts. Critical thinking skills, decision making, and working as a team are all incorporated into the experience.
The cultural and natural history of the area will come alive as your students join the gundalow crew – – setting the sail, steering the boat, and engaging in active learning and teamwork throughout the trip. Students will board as a group and then rotate through an established program as the PISCATAQUA leaves the dock and travels down river. Our Celebrating Our Rivers Program includes the 3 stations listed below:
Human Impact on the Watershed: Students use our 3D watershed model to explore how our actions on land impact the watershed and river on which we sail
Marine Food Chain: Using a plankton net, student engage in a 5 minute tow to collect plankton. After looking at the plankton under magnification, students, student work their way up the food chain by looking at various filter feeders and eventually a lobster.
Sense of Place: During the sense of place station, students work with a nautical chart, compasses, binoculars, and other tools to determine their location. Based on students interest, the crew will discuss the history or ecology of the region through which we are sailing.
In addition to our Celebrating our Rivers program, we offer several additional stations listed in our Sailing with STEAM program. Many teachers choose to substitute water quality for one of the stations listed above.
While the trip will be customized for your class, a sample agenda follows. Please note that the times are approximate and are based on your arrival and departure times.
9:00 Safety talk and orientation
9:15 First watch (set the sail)
9:30 First learning station
10:00 Off watch (chantey or observation)
10:15 Second learning station
10:45 Last watch (chantey or observation)
11:00 Third learning station
11:30 Return to the Dock
See how our program aligns with state and national standards, frameworks and principles: celebrating-our-rivers-with-standards
To book a trip email email@example.com and visit our booking page.
Explore the Portsmouth Waterfront with one of our shore-based programs, or combine a sail on the Gundalow with our waterfront program and make a day of it!
During the waterfront program we offer several options for the shore based programming. These programs are engaging and hands-on. W. Below are the program options for the waterfront program.
Piscataqua People (grades 3 and up): Travel back in time and take part in settling the Piscataqua Region. Become a Native American, a Shipbuilder, or a merchant and make decisions about how you live, where you live, and how you adapt to the changing settlement. This role-playing game introduces students to the the region and asks them to settle and barter with other early settlers.
A Walk in the Park: A History of the Waterfront (all grades): Take a walk around Prescott Park and discover the history of the region through stories, photos and the historical landmarks of the area. Take a step back in time and imagine what Prescott Park looked like when Puddle Dock ran through the area, or find the oldest grave in the cemetery.
Tide-Pooling Scavenger Hunt (all grades): Explore our coastline by looking for different critters in the water’s of Piece Island. Spending time along the shore is a wonderful segway into looking at plankton on the Gundalow. Our crew and volunteers will spend time exploring the area with you and answering questions.
Shore-Side Scavenger Hunt (all grades): Our waterfront is a bustling place with activity and lots of things to see. Let students discover the waterfront in small groups using our scavenger hunt as they explore all that a working waterfront has to offer.
Simple Machines (grades 3 and up): Explore how simple machines have been used throughout history to make work easier. Through student exploration, we will try out levers, pulleys, inclined planes, screws and a wedge.
Water Quality (grades 4 and up): During this hands-on, hour long station, students will design several basic scientific hypotheses about what they will find in water of the Piscataqua River. We will then use a series of scientific equipment to test for temperature, salinity, Dissolved Oxygen, pH, and turbidity. Students then prove or disprove their hypothesis and discuss challenges of carrying out real world scientific research.
Sketching in the Park (all grades): After a brief conversation about making artistic observations, students are given supplies and time to doing their own sketching in the park.
For more information on Rates and Reservations, visit our booking page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“If you are looking for a field trip that will WOW your students, look no further! It is here on the Gundalow! I have brought children on a bright sunny day and on a rainy freezing rain day and the outcome is always the same from my fourth graders…..WE LOVED IT….best field trip ever! The hands on science, the wonderful teachers and the beautiful scenery make it a yearly field trip for my class!” -Jacquie DeFreze Grade 4 Rye Elementary