Become a

Virtual Education Programs

The Mariners’ Museum offers education programs to students across the nation and the world. Through virtual education programs, we can present engaging content to your students no matter where you are located. No need to arrange for buses or collect permission slips. All programs are interactive which allows students to participate in activities with a Museum Educator in real time. You simply need video conferencing equipment or software, or a computer with a camera and an internet connection.

Virtual Education Programs

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum 1592, by Abraham Ortellius.


Age of Exploration

Grades: 4th – 12th

Students discover an era when cartographers were still mapping the world and explorers were discovering new landmasses. Museum educators will lead discussions on economic and cultural life of the Old World, the lucrative spice trade, European efforts to chart a sea route to Asia, and other factors that accelerated European interest in exploration. Teachers will be sent spice packets prior to the program so students can handle the spices as the museum educator discusses them. Students will also examine early European exploration of North and South America and the navigational instruments used during the golden age of sail. Be sure to visit our Ages of Exploration Online Exhibition to learn more about early exploration.

SOLs/Curriculum Objectives
History/Social Studies: 1.3, 1.7,2.9,3.2, 3.3, 3.8, VS.1, USI.1, USI.4, USI.5, WHI.1, WHII.1, WHII.2, WHII.4, WHII.5, VUS.1, VUS.2, VUS.3
Geography: K.4, K.5, 1.4, 1.6, 2.5, 2.6, 3.5, 3.6, WG.1, WG.2, WG.3, WG.4, WG.5, WG.6, WG.7, WG.12
Science: K.2, 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.8, 3.1, 3.2, 4.8, 5.1, ES.1
Math: 3.5, 3.15, 3.16, 3.18, EPF.1

National SOLs
NS-K-4.5, NSS-EC.K-4.6, NSS-EC.K-4.7, NSS-G.K-12.4, NSS-USH.5-12.1, NSS-USH.5-12.1, NSS-USH.5-12.2, NSS-WH.5-12.6

Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH: 6-8.1, 6-8.2,6-8.4, 6.-8.6, 6-8.7, 6-8.9, 6-8.10, 9-10-1, 9-10-2, 9-10.3, 9-10-4, 9-10.5, 9-10.6,9-10.9, 11-12.1, 11-12.2, 11-12.4, 11-12.5, 11-12.6, 11-12.7, 11-12.8, 11-12.9, 11-12.10

The Mayflower The Mayflower

Sailing into Thanksgiving

Grades: K – 2nd

Leaving England for the New World, the Pilgrims sailed across the ocean in their small ship the Mayflower. Join us in learning about life on board the Mayflower and how the ship moved. Students will also explore Pilgrim life in America and what inspired them to celebrate the first Thanksgiving. Throughout the program, students will make a story bracelet so they will be able to tell others about the pilgrims and the history of this holiday.

SOL/Curriculum Objectives
History/Social Studies: K.1, K.2, K.6,, 1.1, 2.3, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9
Geography: K.3, 1.6

National SOLs
NSS-USH.K-4.1, NSS-USH.K-4.3

Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.: K.2, K.3, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5,2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 2.10, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10


Are We There Yet? (NEW)

Grades: 4th – 10th

Did you know that migrating animals and humans share a surprising amount of navigational methods? In the beginning of the program, students will choose one of the featured animals who migrates through the Atlantic Ocean and/or Chesapeake Bay. Students will follow that animal throughout the presentation, noting navigational tools and migration stories. Students will also create a mental map and discover more about compasses and other common tools and methods used in navigation. At the end of the program, students will be tasked with developing a game idea/design that can help teach people about the challenges and solutions of successful animal migration and healthy habitats.

Science (VDOE 2018):
Elementary: 4.1, 4.2 (b,c), 4.3, 5.1, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6, 5.8 (a)
Middle: 6.1, 6.6 (b,e,f), 6.7 (a,b), 6.8, 6.9 (a,c,e), LS.1, LS.4, LS.5, LS.6 (b,c,d), LS.8, LS.9, PS.1, PS.6 (c), PS.8, PS.9 (b,d,e,f)
High: ES.1 (a,c,d,f), ES.8 (d), ES.10 (a,b,e); ES.11 (d)

History (VDOE 2015):
WG.1 (a,b,c,e,f), WG.2 (a,c), WG.3, WG.4, WG.5

Next Generation Science Standards:
Elementary: 4-PS3-2, 4-ESS2-2, 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS3-1, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3
Middle: MS-PS2-3, MS-LS2-1, MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-6, MS-ESS3-3

Principles of Ocean Literacy:
1) The Earth has one big ocean with many features 2) The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth 5) The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems 6) The oceans and humans are inextricably interconnected

Chinese “Junk” and Other Vessels (NEW)

Grades: 3rd

The Chinese were famous for their “junk,” but probably not the type of junk you are thinking about. This program explores ancient China and the many vessels it used throughout history. Students will compare and contrast artifacts from The Mariners’ Museum and Park collection and make an origami boat.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.2, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7

Aqua Deep Whale, Artist: Claus Hoie

Extreme Deep (NEW)

Grades: 4th – 8th

Earth is 71% water, and yet only a relatively small portion of the world’s waters have been explored. Scientists and explorers around the world are discovering more each day utilizing special technology to reach the deepest depths of the ocean. During the program, students will review the different layers of the ocean, examine where animals and plants live and how animals communicate. They will identify how deep ocean animals have survived and thrived in harsh conditions through adaptations. Students will also dive into how humans have explored the ocean and end with a guessing game of marine animal sounds.

Science (VDOE 2018):
Elementary: 4.1 (c,d), 4.2, 4.3, 4.7; 5.1 (c,d), 5.5; 5.6; 5.8 (a,b,d)
Middle: 6.1 (c,d), 6.6 (b,e), 6.9 (a,c,e), LS.1 (c,d), LS.4, LS.5, LS.6, LS.7, LS.9, LS.11 (a,c), PS.6, PS.7

Next Generation Science Standard:
Elementary: 4-PS3-2, 4-LS1-1, 4-ESS2-2, 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS3-1
Middle: MS-ESS2-4, MS-LS2-1, MS-ESS2-6

Principles of Ocean Literacy:
1) Earth has one big ocean with many features 5) The ocean supports diversity 6) The ocean and humans are inextricably connected 7) The ocean is largely unexplored

Clipper ship Comet, 1851, of New York during a Hurricane

The Eye of a Hurricane: (NEW)
Predicting Disaster in the Atlantic

Grades: 4th – 6th

Hurricanes are one of the most formidable forces on Earth. During this program, students will learn about the characteristics of hurricanes, where they form, Atlantic hurricane season information, and the impacts on coastal communities. Students will learn about barometers and other scientific weather instruments used to predict storms. Scientific investigation and inquiry skills will be practiced by way of examining two unique barometers from the Museum’s collection, in addition to creating their own simple barometer to conduct an experiment at home monitoring weather and air pressure.

Science (VDOE 2018):
Elementary: 4.1, 4.4a, 5.1, 5.2, 5.6d, 5.7c, 5.8d
Middle: 6.1, 6.3a, 6.4, 6.6 (b,c,d,e,f), 6.7

Next Generation Science Standards:
Elementary: 3-5-ETS1-3, 4-PS3-2, 4-PS3-4, 4-ESS2-2, 4-ESS3-2, 5-PS1-1, 5-ESS2-1
Middle: MS-PS3-3, MS-ESS2-4, MS-ESS2-5, MS-ESS2-6, MS-ESS3-2

Principles of Ocean Literacy:
1) The Earth has one big ocean with many features 2) The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth 3) The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate 6) The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected

Greece is the Word (NEW)

Grades: 3rd

Ancient Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Learn about some of the history and culture that still attracts visitors today. In this interactive program, students will examine unique artifacts of vessels from The Mariners’ Museum and Park Collection. Students will also create a model Parthenon or ancient Greek pottery.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7

USS Monitor and Merrimac, First Fight Between Ironclads, 1886 by Julian O. Davidson

Iron Meets Iron: (NEW)
The Battle of USS Monitor and CSS Virginia

Grades: 4th – 6th

What happens when iron meets iron? Find out by investigating the battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia. Using historical images, students will gain an understanding of the importance of this ironclad battle to Virginia, the American Civil War, and navies around the world, even today. During the program, students will have an opportunity to analyze digital copies of primary source material to learn about six individuals involved in the history of this battle. After the program, students will be able to use a cipher disk and crack a coded message.

History (VDOE 2015): VS.1 (a, b, c, d, e, f, g, i); VS.7 (a, b, c)

Mariners of Moana: (NEW)
An Artifact Exploration

Grades: 3rd – 5th

Polynesia comes to life in this interactive virtual exploration of the indigenous peoples of Oceania. By comparing images from the Disney movie Moana to artifacts in The Mariners’ Museum and Park Collection, students will learn about the traditions of South Pacific Islanders and their unique maritime history. Students will interpret objects, paintings, maps, dance, and specialized charts to understand the distinctive and varied cultures present in islands from Hawaii to New Zealand. At the conclusion of the program, students will build their own navigational chart with found items, just like the mariners of the Marshall Islands.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.1a-e, g, j; 3.7; VS.1d, g; USI.1a, d, g; USI.2a, c, d

Science (VDOE 2018): 3.1a, cd, d; 3.2a, b; 3.4a; 4.1a-d; 4.7b; 5.1a-b; 5.2a-b; 5.3a-b, d; 5.9a-c

English (VDOE 2017): 4.2a, c; 4.3a-b; 5.2a, d; 5.3a-c

Visual Arts (VDOE 2013): 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.11, 3.13, 3.15, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.14, 4.16, 5.1, 5.3, 5.10, 5.11, 5.12, 5.13, 5.14, 5.17

Pyramids, Boats and Emojis (NEW)

Grades: 3rd

What do emojis and hieroglyphics have in common? To find out, journey back in time with us as we explore the history and geography of Ancient Egypt. Students will examine unique artifacts to learn about Ancient Egyptian life, create a story using modern day hieroglyphics, and make their own pyramid using a $1 bill.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.2, 3.5, 3.6, 3

Ring of Fire: (NEW)
Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis

Grades: 5th – 8th

The Ring of Fire is a tectonically active zone that causes frequent and devastating natural disasters. In such a geologically dynamic area, mariners must be innovative when designing boats and ships. Powerful tectonic forces, like tsunamis, frequently damage boats and ships near the shoreline. In this program, students will attempt to design and build a tsunami-proof boat model from simple household items. To prepare for the challenge, the Museum educator will review the layers of the Earth, plate tectonics and boundaries, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis.

Science (VDOE 2018):
Elementary: 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.8
Middle: 6.1, 6.3a, 6.4 (b,c), 6.6f, PS.1, PS.5b, PS.6, PS.8

Next Generation Science Standards:
Elementary: 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1- 2, 3-5-ETS1-3, 4-PS3-2, 5-ESS2-1
Middle: MS-PS3-2, MS-PS4-2, MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-1, MS-ESS3-2

Principles of Ocean Literacy:
1) The Earth has one big ocean with many features 2) The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth 5) The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected

Technology and a Painting, How do They Relate? (NEW)

Grades: 3rd – 6th

What exactly is technology and where can we find it? By evaluating and “visually reading” a painting of the Sailmaker’s Shop at Newport News Shipbuilding, students will be able to answer these questions and explore how paintings can teach us about the past while also displaying technology’s continual state of change. In this visually engaging program, students will interpret data, timelines, and charts; compare and contrast artifacts and images; and understand the difference between low-tech and high-tech. At the program’s conclusion, students will be tasked with finding an example of technology in their house or classroom and building a visual timeline of that object’s change throughout history.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.1a, c, d, g; VS.1b, c; VS.2c; VS.10b, c; USI.1a, b, d, e, g; USI.2a, c, d; USII.1a, c, d, g; USII.2b

Math (VDOE 2016): 3.15b; 4.4b, d; 4.14a, b; 5.4; 5.16a, b; 6.6a, b

Science (VDOE 2018): 3.1a, c; 3.2a; 4.1a, c; 4.8a; 5.1a, c, e; 5.8d-e; 5.9a, c; 6.1a-d; 6.4d; 6.8c

Visual Arts (VDOE 2013): 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.11, 3.16, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.18, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.12, 5.14, 5.18, 5.20, 6.1, 6.3

The Tsunami and the Sword (NEW)

Grades: 4th – 6th

During the fateful autumn of 1867, a yellow-fever epidemic and four major natural disasters, including a tsunami, rocked the islands St. Croix and St. Thomas in the Caribbean Sea. A former Civil War warship, USS Monongahela, was stationed for a political mission just off the shores of St. Croix during this time. Aboard the ship was a Civil War naval cutlass that remarkably survived the disasters, and eventually was donated to The Mariners’ Museum and Park Collection in the 1930s. In this program, students will discover the voice and story behind the sword through primary and secondary sources along with participating in an artifact investigation activity. At the end of the session, they will connect the story of the sword to science, history, art, and maybe even their own experiences. After the program, students are encouraged to find an artifact in their home, conduct a short investigation of the artifact, and create art that connects the artifact to the story they unearthed.

Science (VDOE 2018): 4.4 (a,b), 4.7, 5.2(a), 5.3, 5.8 (a,b,d)

Next Generation Science Standard:
4-ESS2-2, 5-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-2, MS-ESS2-3, MS-ESS3-2

English (VDOE 2017):
4.1, 4.9, 5.1, 5.9, 6.1, 6.9

When in Rome (NEW)

Grades: 3rd

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Learn about this fascinating ancient city in the heart of Italy. This 30-minute program will provide students with a general insight into Roman history, architecture, and government. Students will be exposed to a variety of artifacts and even learn how to create their own mosaic masterpiece.

History (VDOE 2015): 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7



Virtual Education Programs are $125 per program

Payment can be made prior to the connection or we can invoice following your program.

Grant Funding Available!

The Mariners’ Museum has limited grant funding available for public schools located in Hampton Roads.
Please contact [email protected] for more information.


Book a Program

Reservations are required for all programs and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs fill quickly in the fall and spring, so try to make your reservations a minimum of two weeks in advance.

Programs offered by The Mariners’ Museum align with SOLs, National Standards of Learning, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.

To Book a Program, or if you have questions please contact:

Education Department
(757) 591-7745
[email protected]


All of our virtual education programs are scheduled through ZOOM Cloud-based video conferencing. ZOOM is free to use and requires minimal equipment. For more information, please visit


Please join us in thanking our sponsors:


AUB_Primary Logo

*This link will direct you to a financial education resource page with helpful tips for each stage of life, provided by Atlantic Union Bank*.

Ferguson Cares logo

Langley Federal Credit Union logo

SunTrust logo