Maury Elementary School

Ships ahoy! on the Mildred Belle

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Maury students steer a steady course on the Mildred Belle. Photo: Stephanie Conant.

Students in Maury’s fourth grade class took a voyage on the Mildred Belle, a working boat that once carried oysters, freight and people on the Chesapeake Bay. Living Classrooms now uses it for youth education excursions that teach kids about the local ecosystems and seamanship.

On board activities included trawl net fishing, dragging a very large net through the water; aquatic life identification – of the fish they caught; holding live mussels and clams; studying maps of the city and the river, then locating these landmarks; and learning how long it takes for trash to break down. The students even had a chance to steer the ship.

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The trip was arranged by teachers, Ms. Conant, Ms. Duckett, Ms. Sparrow and Mr. Malamud and was made possible by a grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation to Living Classrooms in support of the Mildred Belle
boat program.