This week students at Maritime High School, a public school for students temporarily located at the Olympic Interim site in Des Moines, took their studies outside – more specifically, to the Duwamish River.

The brand-new high school in the Highline School District is specifically geared toward students who may be interested in a career in the maritime industry. The first school of its kind in the Puget Sound, students use hands-on learning to help prepare for what they may face in the real world, or on the water.

The students’ first experience with project-based learning included a boat tour on the Duwamish River where students learned about water safety and how to properly row a boat, participation in a Duwamish River restoration project, and were led on a walking tour of the South Park neighborhood. Each experience provided them a lens for how the community and environment impact one another. This is the first of many site visits and project-based learning opportunities, students will frequently spend time on boats and will have the opportunity for internships at local marine businesses.

Maritime High School opened its doors earlier this month to its first-ever class of ninth graders. It is the first school of its kind in the Puget Sound dedicated to prepare students for a career in the maritime industry, and for a post-secondary education. Students learning projects are woven into normal core curriculum classes that are more typical in school settings.

The school is the result of a unique collaboration between four local partners: the Northwest Maritime Center, Highline Public Schools, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and the Port of Seattle. “I believe that we learn by doing,” said Termain Halloway, Maritime High School principal, “I am excited to have the opportunity to partner with NW Maritime Center, the Port of Seattle, and Duwamish Cleanup Coalition to provide youth with a chance to get their hands dirty and apply what they’ve studied in the classroom to the field.” 

The school is still enrolling students, and students may apply to attend even if they do not live within the Highline School District boundaries.

Learn more about Maritime High School by visiting their website.

Here are some photos from the event courtesy Anne Heavey: