Hands-on Homeschool

Calvert Marine Museum Offers Inspired Field Trips  

By Jillian Amodio 

In celebration of Homeschool Week from March 15 through 19 the Calvert Marine Museum has a host of activities for kids of all ages. Throughout the year the museum offers a wide array of activities and exhibits designed to promote environmental awareness and pique the interest of visitors, encouraging them to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the area’s unique history. Due to continued efforts to adhere to pandemic guidelines the museum has implemented a new set of activities to celebrate and entice the homeschool community.  

In addition to the numerous exhibits including rays, eels, and other aquatic life, prehistoric fossils and paleontology displays, historical information about the evolution of nautical travel, the impact and history of slavery, an interactive marsh walk, and adorable otters, the museum has created two special self-guided kits in celebration of homeschool week that can be added on to the experience, free with admission. 

The first kit is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. An interactive booklet guides visitors through the lives of several local influential women who made a lasting impact. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of these female pioneers and try their hand at knot-tying, fossil identification, and marine zoology. Students are encouraged to contemplate the influential women in their life and share their own inspiration on a wall of adhesive notes. 

The second self-guided tour focuses on the importance of watershed and Bay health. Visitors can use a Secchi disk to measure water clarity, learn about the importance of aquatic plant life, and begin to think more deeply about the human impact on environmental health. My children visited on a rainy day and that didn’t stop them from enjoying the outdoor exhibits to the fullest.  

The exhibits are tailored for learners of all ages. Scavenger hunt activities are offered in varying levels and degrees of difficulty to encourage visitors to focus on the details of the exhibits to find clues and solve riddles. Searching for hidden faces among painted murals, searching for the hidden meanings in written prose, following dinosaur prints, and solving puzzles invites even the most frequent of visitors to take a closer look to see what they have been missing. 

Museum staff welcome both newcomers and frequent visitors to experience these new additions. Exhibit interpreter Laura Cole says “I hope our visitors gain an appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay from its unique fragile qualities and the strong women who lived and worked on it.” 

When asked what they enjoyed most about their visit, 9-year-old Juliette said, “There is so much history, I honestly didn’t want to stop learning. It was really hands-on and very interactive and I can’t wait to go back.” Six-year-old Jake echoed the same sentiments asking “Can we go back tomorrow?” 

There are also virtual options to explore the exhibits: www.calvertmarinemuseum.com