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Educational Workshops And Activities

 

Take your students on a journey of discovery with the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum and discover the rich maritime and social history of this important National Historic Landmark and local Florida region!

STEAMING through Lighthouse Illumination is a multi-faceted STEM-inspired educational program specifically designed to meet your students’ educational goals in manner that is engaging, informative, relevant, and fun. Program offerings include guided tours of the lighthouse and museum, hands-on interactive workshops, historic reenactments, traveling exhibits, oral presentations, and more. A complete listing of all available educational offerings can be found below.

Teachers can elect to participate in one or more of these activities while visiting the lighthouse during a scheduled field trip, or; if traveling to the lighthouse is impossible; by choosing to have the workshop presented in the comfort of their classroom or media center through the museum’s educational outreach. Regardless of where the program is given, all educational programs are provided FREE of CHARGE to Volusia County public and private school groups, and for a nominal fee for those in neighboring districts.

Feedback regarding existing educational offerings or the need for activities addressing topics not already covered are encouraged. Please direct all educational related comments to Programs Manager Mary Wentzel via email at mwentzel@ponceinlet.org or by phone at (386) 761-1821 ext. 18.

 

STEAMING Through Lighthouse Illumination Workshops And Activities 


Tour and Explore

Guided Tour of the Light Station - Come on down to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum and let our knowledgeable docents lead your students on a guided tour of the museum before climbing 203 steps to the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse

Time Requirement: 1.5-2 Hrs.
Availability: Onsite Only

 

Virtual Lighthouse Tour – For those who are unable to visit in person, this virtual tour of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is the next best thing to being there. Explore the light station via the internet and a detailed 3-D diorama of the historic site. Discover how the lighthouse was constructed and what it was like to live and work at this once-isolated facility at the turn-of-the-century.

Time Requirement: 45 Min.-1 Hr.
Availability: Outreach Only


Educational Workshops

The Science of Light - An interactive activity designed to introduce and reinforce concepts related to the science of light including refraction, reflection, and the visible spectrum by examining the development and evolution of lighthouse optics. This program features a video presentation and hands-on experiments using full scale models of lighthouse optics including the Fresnel lens. Although designed for grades 4-8, this program can be easily modified for grades 9-12.

Time Requirement: 45 Min–1.5 Hrs.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

Living at the Lighthouse – An interactive workshop that explores the daily lives of the light station’s historic keepers and their families. Students will discover what life was like for the children of turn-of-the-20th-century keepers by participating in hands-on activities related to domestic life including chores, games, and other everyday pursuits.

Time Requirements: 30 Min–1 Hr.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

Lighthouse Obstacle Course - Similar to Living at the Lighthouse, this hands-on workshop includes activity stations that require students to complete a variety of domestic chores and tasks that were commonly performed by turn-of-the century lighthouse keepers and their families.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour Only

 

The Lighthouse Keepers Tasks - Participants compare, contrast, and assess 19th and 21st century labor, technology, tools, and practices related to keepers and other lighthouse personnel during this hands-on workshop led by a costumed docent.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

Digging at the Lighthouse - Develop an understanding of how the science of archaeology helps us better understand the past. Students will participate in a fun, hands-on workshop that includes a simulated archaeological dig and the classification and interpretation of unearthed artifacts and ecofacts.

Time Requirements: 45 Min–1.5 Hrs.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach  

 

STEAM Lighthouse Laboratory - Explore how science, technology, engineering, architecture, and math all contributed to the building and maintenance of lighthouses. This activity is customized to each class and requires advanced planning.

Time Requirements: 45 Min–1.5 Hrs.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Radio Navigation and Direction Finders - Step back in time to the 1940s when the United States Coast Guard installed a radio beacon at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Learn how radio navigation works and how modern electronics made celestial navigation using hand-held instruments obsolete.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.

Availability: Onsite Only

 

The Lost Arts of Morse Code and Flag Signaling - Students will learn Morse Code using replica key sets and revisit an earlier era when flags were used for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication by sending messages using semaphore flags, coastal warning flags and wig-wag signal flags.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Be a 19th Century Kid - Participants will experience first-hand what turn-of-the-20th-century lighthouse kids did to keep themselves entertained before the age of modern electronic devices by participating in common 19th century children’s activities including toys, games, and craft projects.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

The Tool Lady - Your class will be given the opportunity to examine turn-of-the-century hand tools used by the historic keepers and the builders of the lighthouse while interacting with a costumed docent during this unique hands-on workshop.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

Historic Reenactments

 

Meet Ianthe Bond Hebel - Students will learn what it was like to attend a turn-of-the-century one room schoolhouse while interacting with a volunteer docent dressed as Ponce Park school teacher Ianthe Bond Hebel. Ponce Park School was one room school house that was attended by the lighthouse keepers’ children from the early 1890s until 1905.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

Meet Abbie Burgess – Students will interact with a volunteer docent dressed as lighthouse keeper Abbie Burgess during this historic reenactment. Burgess was a young teenage girl when she saved countless lives by keeping the beacon at the top of the remote Matinicus Rock Lighthouse lit during a vicious storm in 1856. Her heroic deed was immortalized in the children’s book Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

Meet Captain Murphy - A first-person interpretation and interview with Edward Murphy, captain of the Cuban filibustering ship, the SS Commodore, which sank 13 miles off the coast of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in 1897.

  • Language Arts Focus - Captain Murphy will discuss  the 31-hour ordeal that he shared with author Stephen Crane and two other seamen as they rowed their ten-foot dingy towards Daytona’s shore after the sinking of the SS Commodore. Capt. Murphy will also discuss Crane’s famous short story about the event titled The Open Boat.

  • Social Studies Focus - What was the purpose of the fateful journey? Discover the history of filibustering and how Floridians supported Cuban rebels as they fought for independence from Spain.  

    Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
    Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

A Woman Who Kept the Light - A first person interpretation and interview with Ida Lewis, a famous 19th century female keeper who rescued many sailors single-handedly while serving as the principal keeper of Rhode Island’s Lime Rock Lighthouse.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Keeper in the Classroom - The Old Lighthouse Keeper takes your students on a journey of discovery as they explore the unique history, design, and purpose of lighthouses. This program can be tailored to include several hands-on mini-workshops of your choosing and serves as a great pre or post visit activity.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Historic Presentations

 

Filibustering to Cuba - This unique presentation focuses on Florida’s role in both the Cuban War of Independence and regional and national events leading up to and during the Spanish American War.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

World War 1 at the Lighthouse - Students investigate global political and economic events that led to the start of “War to End All Wars”, discuss how the conflict impacted coastal communities and maritime commerce along the Atlantic seaboard and within the Gulf of Mexico, and explore the technological changes that occurred at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and within Volusia County during the war.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tours & Outreach

 

Paleo Florida - Discover Paleo-Florida! Students will learn what life was like for indigenous people who once inhabited the Florida peninsula when glaciers still covered much of the North American continent and prehistoric animals roamed the wild, untamed landscape of present-day Volusia County including the giant ground sloth, saber tooth tiger, dire wolf, and the armadillo’s massive armored ancestor- the glyptodont.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour Only

 

Florida’s Seminole Indians - Follow the story of the Seminole people, their culture, struggles, and rare ability to survive and adapt to Florida’s constantly changing 19th century social and political climate.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Seminole Raid at Mosquito Inlet - Students will learn how the US government’s unfair treatment of Native Americans sparked the Second Seminole War, how a Seminole raiding party attacked and destroyed sugar plantations along the Halifax River, and how that same group tried to burn down the original Mosquito (now Ponce de Leon) Inlet Lighthouse in Dec, 1835.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Civil War Skirmish at Mosquito Inlet - Investigate historic Civil War events in Florida including: the Union’s blockade of Florida ports, Confederate sympathizers and smugglers, how an escaped slave helped destroy a salt works in Oak Hill, and New Smyrna’s historic Civil War skirmish in 1862.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Immigrants Built the Lighthouse – Students will explore the significant impact of immigrant labor on the construction and later operation of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse during this discussion led by one of the museum’s uniformed keepers. Students will learn about post-Civil War immigration to the United States and how racial, ethnic, and religious prejudices turned the pursuit of the “American Dream” into an uphill battle for many newly-arrived immigrants of the time.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Geography and Navigation – This interactive presentation led by one of the museum’s knowledgeable docents focuses on coastal geography and its impact on maritime commerce, the need for aids to navigation, and the design, development, and construction of lighthouses both onshore and off.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Florida’s Houses of Refuge - An exploration into the US Life-Saving Service, the “sister-service” of the US Lighthouse Service. Lean about the 10 houses of refuge that were located along the east coast of Florida, and why only two life-saving stations were ever built along the state’s 1,350 mile coastline.

Time Requirements: 30–45 Min.
Availability: Onsite Tour & Outreach

 

Traveling Exhibits

 

The USLHE Library Box – The USLHE Library Box is a replica of the mobile libraries that were once delivered to keepers and families at isolated light stations around the country. This thematic program includes a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles for students of all reading levels in addition to other teacher resources. Checked out to classrooms on a monthly basis, the USLHE Library Box is delivered to your classroom by a costumed keeper and serves as both an excellent introductory or post-visit activity. This offering is often coupled with the museum’s popular Keeper in the Classroom program.

Time Requirements: 30 Min.
Availability: Outreach Only


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