Programs Grades 6-12

Programs at the Museum
CRM can accommodate groups of up to 75 students per day for field trips (if your group is larger, please contact us, depending on the program goals we may be able to make adjustments). Large groups will be divided into smaller groups of up to 25 and will rotate through the chosen programs.

CRM offers both indoor and outdoor spaces for lunch. Students should bring brownbag lunches.

One adult per ten students is required and is complimentary. Additional adults must pay the appropriate fee (see pricing page).

Programs on the Onrust have a maximum capacity of 24 people (students & teachers) per trip. Multiple trips may be scheduled in one day.

EagleWatch Programs on the Enviro-Lab III have a capacity of 35 students and teachers per trip. Multiple trips may be scheduled in one day.

Programs at your School

CRM staff are happy to bring a program to your school (within 60 miles of CRM).

Outreach Programs are designed for groups of no more than 25 students.

Up to 4 classes may be scheduled per day.

Mileage costs will apply at the going rate.

Program Rates

At the Museum: $7 per student per program.

Outreach: $150 per class plus mileage at the going rate.

Programs on the Onrust: $15 per student; Programs on the EagleWatch Boat: $20 per student.

Bushnell Farm: $21 per student for the immersion experience, extra programs will incur additional fees based on supply needs.


adult per 10 students complimentary, additional adults are $5 each.

Any field trip program that includes a boat trip has a higher per additional chaperone fee.

Onrust trips: $15 per chaperone; EagleWatch trips: $20 per chaperone.

CRM does have a small scholarship fund for schools who serve low income, at-risk students or are unable to support field trips. Please contact the Education Department to find out if your school qualifies for the scholarship fund.

Program Descriptions
River Science

Students participate in environmental studies activities as they test water quality, identify plant and animal species and explore the relationship between people and the ecosystem. This program takes place in the Museum, on the docks and on our partner vessels.

Choose from the following activity menu, each session is 60-90 minutes long

Gallery Exploration: discover the role of human occupation in the changing face of the River using art, artifacts and activities in the Museum.

Dockside Water Monitoring: learn how to “read the river,” collect water samples and conduct a series of water tests to check the health of the River.

On-Water Exploration: onboard one of our partner vessels, students will participate in observation activities as they study the natural environment of the lower tidal river, conduct a plankton trawl, take water samples for chemical analysis.

Finding the Past Around Us
Students will use Museum art and artifacts, historic documents and team based discovery activities to explore historical events and concepts. Each program takes place in the Museum’s exhibit galleries and focuses on specific events and themes of United States history.
Choose from the following topics

The War of 1812: The British Raid on Essex– explore the events of the April, 1814 raid on the privateer fleet in Essex. Find out what the town looked like, how the British attacked and separate the myths from the historic record.

Bushnell’s Turtle: How did David Bushnell design and build his famous Turtle submarine? What challenges did he face? Uses transcripts of original documents, students explore his design ideas, discover his fears of being discovered and develop an understanding of the early years of the American Revolution.

19th Century Industry along the River: Sailing ships slowly gave over steam as the growing industrial machine changed the face of America. What changes happened in transportation? How did it effect trade? Students will explore the artifacts on display in the Museum’s historic Steamboat Dock building to discover the 19th century.

Shipyards & Sailors: Connecticut’s Maritime Heritage

Connecticut River communities were driven by shipbuilding and maritime trade for almost 300 years. Students will explore this industry through hands-on traditional shipyard jobs. As students make rope, carve trunnels, use an auger and caulk a hull, they will see first-hand the simple machines used in the shipyard and the steps involved with building a sailing ship. Combine the shipyard workshop with a sail on our schooner to see how a sailing ship worked and try sailors’ jobs.

Curriculum connections: colonial &19th century history, trade, rivers, geography, natural resources, simple machines, invention & innovation.

Choose from the following

90 minute shipyard workshop at CRM.

90 minute shipyard workshop and 90 minute schooner sail<

EagleWatch Adventure

Available: February and March. Students will learn the environmental story of the Bald Eagle and specifically how eagles have been returned to Connecticut. Bird anatomy and nesting behavior will also be discussed during the land-based program in the Eagles of Essex exhibit. Students will learn how to identify different species of birds as well. On the EagleWatch boat cruise, students will observe eagles and other wintering birds in flight, fishing and nesting along the shore.

Curriculum connections: ecosystems, rivers, eagles, 20th century conservation/government action, biology.
Program includes both

60 minute gallery program: activities in Eagles of Essex exhibit and (weather permitting) off the CRM docks.

60 minute EagleWatch boat excursion on the River. The boat cruise has a maximum capacity of 35 students and teachers.