Carolina Coastal Classrooms, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation whose mission is to provide environmental education programs promoting understanding and appreciation of our coastal waters and maritime heritage through hands-on shipboard educational experiences. The centerpiece of this program is the environmental education curriculum taught onboard the skipjack ADA MAE and eventually on the schooner CAROLINA.
The skipjack ADA MAE was built in 1915 in Rose Bay and is the only surviving working sail vessel built in North Carolina. This educational vessel is homeported in New Bern, North Carolina and offers daily and extended shipboard environmental education programs throughout the year. The schooner CAROLINA will be built as a reproduction of a classic 19th century coastal fishing and trading schooner and will also be stationed in New Bern.
Carolina Coastal Classrooms Programs provide educational opportunities for students of diverse racial, ethnic, socio-economic and educational backgrounds. Students participating in these programs will learn much about themselves, their abilities, the marine environment and the maritime heritage of much of coastal North Carolina through hands-on experiential education. Trained educators serve as captain and crew and conduct the onboard "classrooms." Shipboard experiences will involve team-building and practical applications of shipboard skills using math, science, ecology, social studies, reading, writing, computer science and critical thinking. Shipboard experiences and skills are linked to learning objectives and goals from the North Carolina Department of Education Standard Courses of Study for math and science. The shipboard curriculum includes water quality analysis, marine life studies, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, sail theory, navigation and studies in environmental stewardship.
Students are given hands-on educational opportutities by steering the ship, setting and striking the sails, dredging and trawling for oysters, fish, crabs, shrimp and plankton for onboard study. They also make weather observations, take water qualtiy measurements and discuss environmental concerns affecting marine life in surrounding waters. Students will be able to maintain contact throughout the school year with the educational vessels ADA MAE and CAROLINA as they sail coastal North Carolina's waterways. It is estimated that 2000 to 3000 students may be served annually by our onboard educational programs.