Maritime Discovery Schools Initiative

Sarah Rubenstein and Kelley Watson, Port Townsend School District; Jack Beattie and Nancy Israel, Northwest Maritime Center; Betsy Davis, Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding; Kathryn Karschney, Karschney Consulting; Janine Boire, Port Townsend Marine Science Center; Nathanael O’Hara, Port Townsend School Board; Shelly Randall, Story Services; Reed Aubin, North Olympic Salmon Coalition

Many high school students, parents and educators are unaware of the job opportunities that shipping, fishing, boatbuilding and other maritime industries provide in this state. Schools often do not teach the skills these industries need, and more workers are now retiring or leaving these industries than entering them. Educators and industries must come together to head off a looming workforce crisis in Washington’s $12 billion maritime sector. This initiative will transform Port Townsend’s school system into a model “maritime district.” Teachers and industry professionals will find ways to apply skills such as marine mapping and historical research to core subjects like mathematics and social studies. All 85 Port Townsend teachers, plus 30 more from the region, will integrate these applications into the K-12 curriculum. Students will learn seamanship, problem solving and teamwork­—vital skills at sea—aboard replicas of the longboats Captain Vancouver used to explore Puget Sound.