PA Sea Grant's Lake Erie Shipboard Science Education Program

Brings Science to Life!

students and teachers participate in shipboard education program

NOTE: The shipboard education program is not currently available. Educators and administrators interested in future programming should contact Michelle Niedermeier, PA Sea Grant Education Lead. 

Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s award-winning shipboard education program has engaged over 14,000 students in experiential learning aboard research vessels docked along the coastline of Pennsylvania's Lake Erie and Presque Isle. The hands-on approach to science, education, and research activities help students and adults understand the vast underwater world of Lake Erie. 

Participants learn about water quality, water resources and the overall health and Lake Erie through science-based, hands-on activities. Such activities might include using a Ponar dredge to sample sediments, deploying underwater robotic units and cameras to explore the lake floor environment, conducting water chemistry testing, collecting samples with a plankton net, and much more. 

Activities take place aboard research vessels, combing the waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle to uncover the science below the waters surface. 

Howard G. Lettie, ship used in shipboard education program The Friendship Sloop a ship used in shipboard education program The Environaut, a ship used in shipboard education program

 Pictured above are the Lettie G. Howard, the Friendship Sloop, and the Environaut - three examples of the research vessels used in the shipboard education program.

Group photo of 2018 shipboard education teamMeet the summer 2018 shipboard education crew





students looking through Lake Erie sediment for macroinvertebratesSummer 2018 Photos








shipboard curriculum guide

Read more about the shipboard education program, including background about Lake Erie, detailed overviews of the different activities, safety and on boat protocols,and in-class lessons.  

















Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011