Shipboard Science Workshops

Sea Grant’s shipboard science programs help transform teachers into motivated Great Lakes educators.

Sail away with us

Sea Grant's shipboard science programs transform teachers into motivated Great Lakes educators. Over the course of a week and fueled by dynamic partnerships and the wind (real or virtual) in their sails, Minnesota and Wisconsin educators are exposed to the skills needed to navigate ship on a Great Lake, get to practice the science of lake ecology, and gain knowledge of the region’s seafaring history from a maritime archaeologist. These are trips of a lifetime.

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What is a shipboard science workshop?

Shipboard science workshops are week-long onboard or virtual Great Lakes water-science education and training opportunities for teachers and educators from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Project description

Shipboard science workshops help participant educators gain an understanding of Great Lakes ecology, get hands-on experience doing water science, and foster awareness and appreciation for the Great Lakes. In addition to amazing stories about their real or virtual sailing adventures, workshop participants will take home curricula and resources to use in their classrooms and other teaching environments. Participants can also earn science education and graduate course credit.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

Our shipboard science workshops support Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.

What have we done lately?

In July and August, 2020, we co-hosted Trimming our Sails: Land-Based Virtual Workshops about the Great Lakes and Inland Waters Workshops for Minnesota and Wisconsin Educators. Educators participated in a six-week workshop series on classroom and field applications of Great Lakes science that explore Great Lakes Literacy Principle 6: How the Great Lakes influence humans and vice versa. Presenters included educators who participated in previous shipboard science workshops, researchers, and members of the Sea Grant Center for Great Lakes Literacy.

Participants & audience

The workshop series is open to any 4th through 12th grade formal, non-formal, or informal educator in Minnesota or Wisconsin.


Financial support for the annual shipboard science workshops comes from grants.

Program Staff

Marte Kitson headshot
Environmental Literacy Extension Educator


  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Tribal Government
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Academic Institution (College and University)
  • Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, Sea Grant Programs
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant, Sea Grant Programs
  • Simley High School, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, K-12