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Kalmar Nyckel : Education : Field Trips

Field Trips

Education School Field Trip
Join our award-winning ship and shipyard programs for fun, experiential learning, and adventure.  As a full-scale re-creation of the colonial ship that brought the first permanent European settlers to Delaware and the Delaware Valley, Kalmar Nyckel is one of the world's great educational resources.  

Students get to travel back in time to the "Age of Sail" and rediscover Delaware's fascinating colonial and maritime history.  Our typical ship and shipyard program can handle up to 86 students a day with three (3) "underway" stations on the ship and four (4) interactive stations on land.  The standard program takes 4 hours.  Participants engage in "hands-on history," discovering that learning is fun and that fun can be informative.

Our ship and shipyard programs are available in a variety of formats and can be tailored to meet the academic needs of any group.  

Sail/Tour Combination
Our most popular program combines both land-based and water-based experiential education.  It includes an hour-and-a-half sail on the Christina River, during which the students immerse themselves in the life of the original Kalmar Nyckel sailors.  They set and douse sails, learn about early maritime navigation skills, and use our capstan to understand mechanical advantage.  Between the sail and land-based activities there is a lunch break, which can be outside in our campus picnic area during the warmer seasons. Then students rotate through four more interactive education stations to round out the day. While these stations will vary based on your choices and the weather, the most popular program introduces teamwork to bring history to life through:
  • Simulating firing one of our cannons
  • Visiting our blacksmith shop
  • Participating in an interactive trading game to see how the original Swedish settlers traded with the Lenape (Native Americans).
  • Exploring an artifact identification station to learn about life in Fort Christina in the 1600s (and beyond)

"Tour Only" at Copeland Maritime Center
A program complete with hands-on learning experiences awaits your students in our Copeland Maritime Center and on our shipyard campus (without our Tall Ship)! Students will learn cooperation, collaboration, and sailing skills utilizing our 3/4-scale model of Kalmar Nyckel's ship deck.  Indoor and outdoor stations are available depending on the seasons and your educational goals. Some of the most popular education stations include:
  • "World Trade Game" brings history alive when students travel back to the 1600s to take on the roles of the original Swedes and Lenape in a trading simulation that explains the original economic factors that led to the Kalmar Nyckel's first transatlantic crossing and the founding of New Sweden in what is now Wilmington.
  • "Finding Fort Christina" looks at life in the 17th century colony through artifact identification. Students also explore an original log cabin that was moved and re-built inside our building!
  • "Navigation" allows students to learn about 17th century navigation tools and how they compare to today's methods.
  • "Sail Handling" and "Furling" provide active, hands-on shared nautical tasks including hoisting and setting sails as well as tying knots, dousing, and furling a sail.
  • "Gun" stations (indoors and outdoors) bring maritime history to life and teach teamwork drills: working together to clean and fire a cannon.
  • "Blacksmith" presents popular demonstrations that give students experience with an essential colonial skill.
STEM programming that utilizes principles such as buoyancy, points of sail, celestial navigation, and dead reckoning are available as well.

Learn more about our interactive education programing by viewing this short film detailing our "Starting A Colony" program.

Please contact the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation office at 302.429.7447 or sheed@kalmarnyckel.org for program pricing and additional information.

School Field Trips      School Field Trips



Kalmar Nyckel : Education : Field Trips

Did you know: That Fort Christina, founded by the Swedes, was the first permanent European settlement in the entire Delaware Valley?


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