Collaboration With High Tech High

High Tech High Teacher Juli Ruff and Maritime Museum of San Diego Exhibit Designer Maggie Walton


San Diego, CA (December 6, 2017) — Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s largest collections of historic vessels from sail to steam to submarine, has teamed up with Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High to create prototypes for hands-on children’s exhibits that demonstrate the physics of sailing, science behind navigation and simple maritime machines. Students will present their designs aboard the Museum’s Star of India Friday Dec. 8 where they will remain on display over the weekend. The Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Director of Development Kelli Lewis stated, “This collaboration is the first milestone in creating a new children’s exhibit at the Museum and meets the Maritime Museum of San Diego and High Tech High’s mission of learning through real-life works that contribute to the community.” Maritime Museum patrons are invited to view and critique designs Saturday and Sunday December 9 and 10.

Families study Maritime Museum of San Diego exhibit submissions aboard Star of India

High Tech High Student Model of children’s mapping exhibit

Innovative students share collection of their original maritime explorer trading cards

Maritime Museum of San Diego Exhibit Designer Maggie Walton admires students prototype for a sail raising exhibit

High Tech High Student group leader explains motivation behind navigation exhibits

High Tech High Using Stars to Navigate exhibit designer and proud parent

Student Designers explain submarine dive tank exhibit

Photos by: Maggie Walton

Over four months, ninth graders from Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High made prototype, interactive science exhibits intended to inform the Maritime Museum of what a permanent child-directed exhibit could look like. In the process, students sketched out ideas, collaborated, and went through trial and error to make life-size, working prototypes that were tested with second and third graders. The observations, notes, and collected data were analyzed statistically to determine needed improvements for the exhibits. They then were scaled down to make smaller models of what a final Maritime Museum installation could include. Along the way, students learned to sail, explored museum curation, and split into teams to explore, then become experts, in an aspect of maritime history and science.

Project Based Learning puts the projects like this at the center of the curriculum, integrating hands and minds and incorporating inquiry across multiple disciplines, humanities, math, and physics/ engineering. Students engage in work that matters to them, to their teachers, and to the world outside of school. Students connect their studies to the world through fieldwork, community service, internships, and consultation with outside experts like the Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego serves as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world. The history of San Diego is defined in large measure by our historical relationship with the sea. Not only has the sea determined the progress and shape of our community, but our understanding of that relationship and our responsibilities for stewardship of the oceans will determine our future. This collaboration with is a perfect way to share this mission with our local youth.

About the Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego experience includes admission to a world-class collection of historic sailing ships, steam-powered boats, and submarines, each offering entertaining and educational exhibits. The 501c3 non-profit Museum enjoys an international reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining, and operating historic vessels including the world’s oldest active sailing ship, Star of India. Maritime Museum of San Diego is ranked as one of the nation’s top attractions offering self-guided tours, docent guided-group tours, tall ship charters, year round public events, educational programs, and a distinctive venue for corporate/private events. The Museum is open daily along Star of India Wharf at 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101-3309.

About High Tech High
Developed by a coalition of San Diego civic leaders and educators, High Tech High opened in September 2000 as a small public charter school with plans to serve approximately 450 students. HTH has evolved into an integrated network of thirteen charter schools serving approximately 5,300 students in grades K-12 across three campuses. The HTH organization also includes a comprehensive adult learning environment including a Teacher Credentialing Program and the High Tech High Graduate School of Education, offering professional development opportunities serving national and international educators.

Four connected design principles guide High Tech High – equity, personalization, authentic work, and collaborative design—that set aspirational goals and create a foundation for understanding our approach.