Outreach Programs

School Programs



The Maritime Museum of BC education programs bring history to life by creating a fun place for students to engage, learn, and explore! They are designed to connect and supplement teachers with core learning curriculum objectives. All our programs include engaging hands on activities with museum artefacts and creative skill building exercises. For your convenience we have highlighted which program best suits your grade level, but this does not limit you to that program. Programs staff is happy to work with you to tailor content to meet your needs.

New Programs

World history and Maritime history are interconnected. The advent of long range water transportation and seafaring was largely responsible for the advancement of technology, trade, and global migration. It was responsible for international relations, development of nations, and industry.

Grade 4 – 5
Early West Coast Exploration: Captains Cook and Vancouver

Early West Coast Exploration: Cook and Vancouver interactive program explores the effects of Cook and Vancouver’s first contact with the First Peoples of Vancouver Island that would ultimately spark the Maritime fur trade.
Presented in the character of Captain Cook, in the exploration age, what was the motivation for exploration and discovery of the Northwest Coast of BC.? How did interactions with first Nations and the explorers’ impact and shape the history of British Columbia and ultimately Canada. Navigation and technology, seamanship and a life at sea are also discussed accompanied by a hands-on artefact session.

Grade 5 – 6
Immigration to the West Coast of British Columbia

Immigration on the West Coast interactive program explores these topics with students using stories and artefacts with a West Coast/Maritime focus. The history of immigration, the experiences of immigrants, and the effect on Canadian society and social institutions are discussed.
The West Coast of British Columbia involved many hardships as well as opportunities, supporting, technological, intellectual and spiritual development. From exploration and first contact, to settlement and global migration, the motivation for trade, prosperity and freedom sparked multiple waves of immigration. Forever changing the lives of individuals, families and communities, built what we know today as British Columbia. A hands-on interactive and visual component accompanies this program.

Grade 7 – 8
Navigation – Finding Coastal British Columbia

Navigation: Finding Coastal British Columbia, cross-curricular program explores early origins of navigational technology from the ancient world to the Middle Ages. This interactive program touches on themes from the Grade 8 Social Science and Applied Design, Skills, and Technology Curriculum.
From the earliest navigation systems to present day Global Positioning Systems (GPS), students will examine the ways of early celestial and coastal navigation in parallel with some of today’s current technologies. What would it have been like to rely on such primitive ocean faring technologies. What would happen today if a GPS failed? A hands-on artefact examination of what some of these early instruments looked like and how they worked. Look at some of the earliest cartographic materials produced by explorers. Do some of your own navigating, charting and map making.

Grade 9
Shipbuilding in Victoria and Coastal British Columbia

Shipbuilding in Victoria: cross-curricular program explores the establishment of shipbuilding on the West coast. From first contact and the construction of the first wooden ship, to the industry of steel shipbuilding technology, this interactive program touches on themes from Applied Design, Skills and Technology.
Early settlers chose Victoria as a settlement location because of its sheltered harbour to moor ships. The forests of Vancouver Island provided abundant timber for ship repair and soon the shipbuilding industry was established in Victoria’s inner harbour. From the first built ship on the West coast, to the first established shipyards in Victoria and Vancouver’s inner harbour, the evolution in ship design from wind-powered sail ships toward a steamship, and later a gas powered industry, are featured through our museum collections. Students will learn hands-on about ship design and handle some of the shipbuilding artefacts.

Maritime Memories

This popular program is back! Maritime Memories caters to seniors and special interest groups through this hands-on informative program. We take this program out to communities, but we also offer it in-house. Contact our Program Coordinator, Jillan Valpy at jvalpy@mmbc.bc.ca or (250) 385-4222 ext. 113 for further details.

For more information on programs or to make a booking, please contact Programs Coordinator, Jillan Valpy at jvalpy@mmbc.bc.ca.