Seattle's Child

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Admiral Jack is a floating classroom. (Photos provided by Maritime High School)

Perspective: Maritime High School provides hands-on, project-based learning

Students interested in maritime studies do not have to live inside the Highline School District.

As the school year nears an end, I find myself reflecting on the first year of classes for students at Maritime High School.

This fall, when our doors opened, our students dove headfirst into the unknown by attending not only a new school, but an unconventional school — a school focused on preparing students for a career in the maritime industry or marine sciences, and a school where project-based learning is the primary instruction method.

Maritime High School

At Maritime High School, students spend three days learning in school and two in the field. This year, students have been able to learn about the history of the maritime industry in Seattle through field trips to maritime industry partners and the Museum of History and Industry. They have learned how to navigate and captain boats through their weekly ventures around Puget Sound on the Admiral Jack vessel. Even school days involve primarily hands-on learning. Students are exploring microplastics, raising tilapia fish, building aquatic robots and even building canoes, which they will launch into the Sound to celebrate the end of the school year.

Despite being surrounded by water in the Seattle area, many young people are not aware of the tremendous opportunities that exist in the maritime industry – engineering, oceanography, environmental science, marine biology, vessel operations, vessel design and construction, and many more. Many students are not exposed to these types of career opportunities, and many are not even exposed to opportunities to be on the water.

Maritime High School: what it’s like

This past year our students have had the chance to learn new skills that have sparked their interest, confidence and curiosity. I’ve watched students who used to clutch to the sides of the vessel in fear navigate the docking of the Admiral Jack with confidence and ease. I have witnessed student passion for environmental science increase as they helped clean up the Duwamish River and discovered the impact pollution is having on wildlife and nature.

I am excited to watch these students continue to grow over the next three years as they deepen their knowledge of the maritime industry and participate in internships at Seattle’s major maritime companies. This fall we will welcome a new class of ninth-grade students, and I’m thrilled to watch them experience the same growth and discovery students experienced this year.

Admission for the 2022-23 school year is open to students who are interested in maritime studies, whether they live in Highline Public Schools boundaries or not. If you are interested in applying or have any additional questions please visit our website or contact the school at 206-631-7400.


Tremain Holloway is the principal of Maritime High School.


More on education in Seattle’s Child:

My family thought about leaving SPS; why we ended up staying

The school year is almost over! Ideas for celebrating



About the Author

Tremain Holloway