Elementary Science Program

Ocean Explorers

The Ocean Explorers program provides an ongoing environmental/marine science experience built around a fall and spring field trip, that includes a voyage in Gloucester Harbor on the schooner Ardelle, and four in-class learning sessions to further develop and reinforce the subjects explored during the site visits. Topics covered include: Moon and tides, classification, exploring marine food webs, habitat and adaption, water and energy, and sedimentary rock formation, to name a few. Over the last seven years the program has been offered to Gloucester students and now, thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and funding of $8,000 from the Ed Foundation the program is being expanded to include Rockport students.

The multi-year offering leads to more informed student learning and changes in the ocean stewardship behavior of the students. Two areas of study that are being incorporated into the program are watershed understanding and climate change. Students will be observing the environment, tracking changes and identifying patterns of change.


This enrichment program, led by the Cape Ann Kestrel Science Center, includes an in-class instructional program, followed by two hours of outside hands-on activities. Students experience the program at the Rowe Woods parcel of land adjacent to the Elementary School, where they find and identify plant and animal species indigenous to Cape Ann. The program is held in the fall and the spring.


The Ocean Explorers program gives our kids a unique, hands-on opportunity to make a connection with the ocean and marine world, which is so much a part of our everyday life.
- Carl Engel, parent