Land-based Education

Foss Waterway Seaport Image

Join us for one-of-a-kind student field trips! Visit our extraordinary Balfour Dock building to enjoy hands-on, customized learning experiences in history, marine science and maritime heritage.

During March and April while the Seaport education space is closed for construction, land-based education programs will be offered on our science boat (My Girl) moored at our dock. We can offer programs for up to 30 students. During these two month we MUST have a minimum of 20 students. All participants will be required to wear life jackets. A signed release of liability form for all participants is required. Dates now available starting Monday, March 20th.

Cost: $4.00 (15 student minimum) Free admission for teachers and one adult per activity group. We require one adult chaperon for every activity group. All additional adults will be charge a $4.00 admission fee. We do not offer field trips to group less than 15 students.

Days Offered: Monday - Friday (Available for 1st-12th graders + college students)

To Schedule: Email jan [dot] adams [at] fosswaterwayseaport [dot] org (Jan Adams), Education Program Director. Please include: Teacher’s name, school name, contact information, grade level, requested date, arrival and departure times, number of students and adults in your group. 

Field trips at the Foss Waterway Seaport provide interactive, hands-on, grade-level appropriate experiences that support teachers’ in-class objectives – and they are just plain fun!  

We offer students the opportunity to see Tacoma's first port, to understand the impact that urbanization has had on Tacoma and to develop an understanding of the environmental issues we face today in Puget Sound. Our activities instill a greater appreciation for local watersheds and promote sustainable choices.

Classes are divided into groups of 6-8 students rotating through a series of activity stations during your visit.  Rotation lengths are age dependent - usually 30 to 45 minutes (45 minutes per rotation for 5th grade and above, 40 minute rotation for 4th grade and 30 to 35 minute for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade). Most presenters are teachers or volunteers who have worked in the education field with the subject matter covered. The number of activities offered during a field trip is tailored to the size of the class, the amount of time allotted for the visit, and staff availability

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Foss Waterway Seaport has easy bus drop-off
  2. Lunch area can be provided, free-of-charge. We do ask that you clean up the area; wipe down the tables and pick up all trash after your group finishes eating. If you do not wish to clean the area, we can add a $20 cleaning fee to your field trip cost.
  3. Field trip experiences can be customized to match curriculum needs.
  4. The Seaport offers a wide variety of field trip activities. Examples: an interactive tour of our historic building; a close up look at heritage small watercraft and maritime tools; time aboard the Columbia River Gillnetter Faith, a sea experience securely moored on land; plus many marine and environmental science activities offered in our education classroom in conjunction with our instructional touch tanks. To receive a complete list of current activities offered, please email jan [dot] adams [at] fosswaterwayseaport [dot] org (subject: land%20based%20programs) (Jan Adams).
  5. Each student can build a wooden toy boat to take home … a big hit!