Summer Education

Channel Islands Maritime Museum continues to offer educational programs throughout the summer for school age students in grades 3-12 who are attending summer camps or other youth groups or for families. Multi-age groups can be accommodated, although every attempt should be made to group students so that they can enjoy age appropriate activities together. A range of grades or ages up to 3 can be accommodated – a minimum of 8 students and 2 adults, maximum of 40 students.

The interactive docent led tours are 90 minutes long and consist of 3 activities appropriate to the ages of your students from those listed below. Each tour is custom designed to meet the needs and interests of your group.

Admission is $5 per student or adult and includes hands on materials and take home folders and pencils.

If your group is coming on a day when we are unable to provide docent led tours, we offer self-guided interactive activities for exploration of some of our exhibits, which can be led by adults in your group.  For the best museum experience for both adults and children alike, we strongly recommend that adults who will be leading your groups come to the museum to explore and experience the guided activities on their own beforehand. In this way, adults will be able to provide valuable support that is needed for student exploration.  

Activities may include 3 from the following:

Port of Hueneme*

Suitable for grades 3-12

Students will explore the exhibit with a partner, searching for information about the Port of Hueneme, which is the largest port on the coast of California between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Students will find out that there are products that they use and consume on a daily basis that come through the Port of Hueneme. They will also learn which countries are involved in the import and export of products locally and the types of vessels that are used. They will also learn about the maritime history of the area, how and why the port was developed, and where the name “Hueneme” came from. 

Art Gallery Search and Find*

Suitable for grades 3-8

Students will travel through 3 different galleries exploring both paintings and ship models from the 17th century to modern.  Their goal is to find specific details in 6 different pieces of art in each gallery. A docent will guide students to help them on their search and tell them more about each piece of art as they find it.


Seascape Art Appreciation & Drawing Techniques

Suitable for grades 4-8

Students are guided to look at a painting as the docent points out the elements of design and basic artistry techniques, such as shape, line, texture, horizon line and perspective. Moving on to another painting, students identify and label the same elements and make their own observations on a line drawing of the painting. Lastly, students will look at another painting, imagining that they are an artist in the field and make their own sketch of the scene, using the techniques they learned. 


Whales and the aRT OF sCRIMSHAW

Suitable for grades 3-6

Students will become familiar with different types of whales, and then study the Museum’s rich collection of scrimshaw artifacts. They will then learn a brief history of the whaling history, explore the life of a sailor on a whaling ship, and end with reviewing the alternative materials used by scrimshaw artists today. Finally, students create their own “scrimshaw” masterpiece.


Signal Flags & i-spy*

Suitable for grades 3-5

(Signal Flags) Students will find out how ships “talk” to each other through the use of signal flags, and will learn the universal signal flag alphabet. They will spell out and read words in signal flag letters, form their own signal flag word, or white their names in signal flags. (I-SPY) Students will become familiar with life in the harbor, different types of animal life and boats by looking at the harbor through the Museum windows in search of these items. 

California Coastal Historic Art

Suitable for grades 4-12

Five works of fine art are shared, each telling a story about a moment in time in California coastal history. Docents teach art appreciation concepts as well as the historical significance of each piece, weaving a story that ties each of the individual masterpieces to tell the greater story. Students will then revisit each piece of art, review concepts learned and are encouraged to make predictions. 

Boats 101 

Suitable for grades 3-4

Students will be introduced to different types of vessels, how they are powered (sails, oars, motor), and different sizes (boats or ships). They then tour the museum viewing works of art in the form of paintings and ship models, identifying and categorizing each one, as well as look out the windows at the vessels in the harbor. Finally, they are given a small art lesson and given the opportunity to draw their own seascape using their new knowledge of boats. 

Upper Deck Scavenger Hunt*

Suitable for grades 3-5

Students will hunt for objects on display in several different exhibits, including ship models, shipwreck artifacts, globes, and whale bones, searching for answers to specific questions.


Whale Fun: Where’s My Answer  

Suitable for grades 4-8

Students share what they know about whales and find out which whales can be seen along our local coast. Then they discover some amazing facts in an interactive game where they find a partner and share information.


* Activities that do not require a CIMM docent and can be led by an adult in your group, with the a group of 8 children or less with one adult chaperone. 



Once your trip has been booked, please refer to the Field Trip Guide for more information on procedures and directions for teachers and parents.