An Introduction to the Explorers Earth Science Program
This program is designed to give the students a direct, hands-on understanding of the causes and effects of weather, wind, fog and tide on the San Francisco Bay Region and the ships that have worked these waters for over a century. The unique geography and weather of the California Coast and San Francisco Bay largely dictated the settlement and trade of this region and your students will examine these factors and the science behind them as they rotate through a series of education stations aboard ship.
The Explorers Earth Science Program is run aboard the Alma while sailing on San Francisco Bay. Alma is the last functioning example of a working Scow Schooner that once crowded the waters of the Bay and Delta, ferrying hay, bricks, coal, and lumber to the towns and villages along Northern California’s waterways. Since 1891 generations of Californians have worked on the Alma and your students will become part of that living tradition. Alma has been modified to comply with the Coast Guard safety standards for passenger carrying vessels and is inspected annually by the Coast Guard. Alma is operated by a professionally-licensed National Park Service Captain and crew as well as three specially trained Age of Sail Educators who teach the program, and work directly with your class.
While aboard your students will work together as they hoist and trim the Alma’s sails and rotate through learning stations while Alma sails the bay. These stations are called: Fog and Navigation, Tide and the Effects of Gravitational Attraction, Wind and Watch, and the always popular Trick at the Helm when the students actually steer the ship under the Captain’s watchful eye.
The curriculum has been based on the State Content Standards for 5th and 6th Grade Students, and is focused on math, science, and geography as well briefly touching on as history and social sciences. While any introduction to the Maritime History of San Francisco Bay is helpful please be assured that we will make certain that the students will have a fun and educational voyage, at whatever the level of preparation you were able to provide. We are also happy to customize our curriculum to fit your needs.
For education program reservations and questions, please contact us with the mail form.