Education at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum offers programs that share the maritime stories of the region. Nation’s Oldest Port™ School Group and Day Camp programs introduce K-12 students to the science of light, archaeology of shipwrecks, 500 years of Florida maritime heritage, and the important role of lighthouses and lighthouse keeping to the economy and coastal defense. We also have programs for scouts and other groups. Learn more about our educational offerings below. Also see the schedule of Daily Demos included with admission that are fun, interactive and educational opportunities for our visitors!

For those with special needs or considerations for any program, please contact the Education and Programs manager at 904-829-0745 x223.

K12 & Home Schools

Nation’s Oldest Port Programs for school groups include both self-guided and educator-led options to meet your group’s educational goals during your visit. Programs are tied to Core Curriculum standards and incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) subjects with the humanities. See below for more information on our school group options. Please contact the Education Department at 904-829-0745 x223 for home school group options.

Length: Approximately 1 hour
Cost*: Student – $6.00;  Adult – $8.75;  Teachers (one per 20 students) and bus drivers – Free.
Times available for tours: Any time between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. any day the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is open. Please call for availability.
*Advance reservation is required to receive the student group rate and reserve your time and day.
The Keepers’ and Climbers’ option is the only way for students (teachers and chaperones too!) to explore our historic site and exhibits. In the AT HOME WITH THE HARNS experience, students won’t just learn about history, they will be history! Then head keeper William Harn, his wife Kate, their daughter Ida and Second Assistant Keeper Jerome Lopez will take you through the head keeper’s home and share stories about life at the St. Augustine Light Station during the Harn family’s time in the home (1876-1889). Continue the lighthouse story with LEGENDS OF THE LIGHT, which has stops throughout the site and while climbing the lighthouse but is housed primarily in the new Maritime Archaeology & Education Center. Continue LEGENDS OF THE LIGHT with these Post-Visit activities. Students can also discover how a modern-day archaeologist learns about this time period from artifacts and objects in the exhibit. Also in the keepers’ house is the WRECKED! exhibition, which submerges students in a Revolutionary War period shipwreck discovered off the cost of St. Augustine and Star Waters, a junior maritime archaeologist, navigates this discovery with you! Additionally, students can view wooden boat works, historic interpretive walking trails, and of course climb the 219 steps of the lighthouse tower! Print out our Pre-visit Packet with information about the rules/regulation and specifics of your visit. The group also receives a visit packet on arrival. We also have Post-Visit Materials to continue the experience after your visit!
Length: 2 – 2.5 hours; Includes the Keepers and Climbers self-guided program (see above).
Cost*: Student – $11.00;  Adult – $8.75;  Teachers (one per 20 students) and Bus Drivers – Free
Times available for tours:  9:30    11:00    12:30     2:00    3:30.  Please call for availability.
*Advance reservation is required to book a program and receive student group tour rate.
 
Shipwreck CSI: In this program, students inspect a mock shipwreck they must identify using clues from primary source material and the wreck itself. Archaeologists follow similar methods when examining a newly discovered shipwreck. This activity involves students practicing problem solving skills and employing their mathematical abilities while piecing clues together about the ship’s identity. TEACHERSCheck out our Shipwreck CSI lesson plans for K – 2nd grade and 3rd – 5th grade to supplement your visit.
 
The Search for Shipwrecks: This lesson plan will give students an opportunity to do some of the basic primary source analysis, problem solving, and mathematics archaeologists use to find shipwrecks. They will read primary documents looking for clues about a shipwreck’s location and then learn how remote sensing techniques help archaeologists search for evidence.
The Science of Conservation: Students will learn about the special care archaeologists must give to shipwreck artifacts. Different materials react in different ways in the ocean’s salt water creates chemical reactions that change the artifacts and threaten their continued existence. Demonstrations will show how corrosion affects metals and how archaeologists catalog an artifact’s condition for future conservation.
Length: 2 – 2.5 hours; Includes the Keepers and Climbers self-guided program (see above).
Cost*: Student – $11.00;  Adult – $8.75;  Teachers (one per 20 students) and Bus Drivers – Free
Times available for tours:  9:30    11:00    12:30     2:00    3:30.  Please call for availability.
*Advance reservation is required to book a program and receive student group tour rate.

Discover what daily life was like in St. Augustine, part of the loyal British colony of East Florida, during the American Revolutionary War. This program uses stories from people who lived here during the 1770s and 1780s and objects of the time period to help students gain appreciation of the complexity of the Revolutionary War for both British loyalists and those breaking from England. In small groups, students read excerpts from primary sources (documents from the time period) and examine objects to determine which ones relate to each other. This is geared for 4th grade and up.

This combination tour provides school groups with an exploration of the science of light and stories about paranormal activities at the St. Augustine Light Station. Students will learn how lighthouse lenses can manipulate light so sailors can see them from great distances. Following this scientific discovery program, students will take a walking tour through a darkened keepers’ house detailing the ghostly experiences here on site and the historical background behind these events. The tour will conclude with a climb up 219 steps to the top of the lighthouse to view the impressive first order Fresnel Lens and the light it sends 20 miles out to sea.

Call 904.829.0745 x206 or x223 for pricing and availability. Suitable for 4th grade and up.

Day Camps

Nation’s Oldest Port Day Camps at the Museum provide educational fun when school is out, and offer opportunities for high school students to learn job and life skills while giving back to their community. All camps include a T-shirt, water bottle, and backpack. Check out upcoming camps here.

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Miranda Bailey at mbailey@staugustinelighthouse.org to learn how to become a junior volunteer camp counselor (ages 14-17) and earn community service hours for your Bright Futures scholarship application.

If you would like to support our camp scholarship programs, please contact the Interpretive Division Director at 904-829-0745 x208 or via email. Thanks to our current sponsors

Scout and Other Groups

Troop members explore the museum and grounds on a 90-minute self-guided program for Daisies & Brownies/Cub Scout & Weblos and Juniors & Boy Scouts and earn a merit badge (available from the Museum Gift Shop).

We offer this guided tour for groups of adults and seniors upon request. The 1.5-hour tour focuses on aspects of maritime history as it relates to the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Seniors may also participate in a tour through Elderhostel, a nonprofit organization committed to being the preeminent provider of high quality, affordable, educational opportunities for older adults. Additionally, we can give presentations and talks on lighthouses and archaeology at your location. Call 904-829-0745 to book your program or tour.

Experience a personal, hour-long visit with St. Augustine’s Head Lighthouse Keeper, or Assistant Keeper, as you stroll around the Light Station and climb a working lighthouse. Bring all of your questions and imagination. Learn what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper of the past and today. Availability dependent on Keepers’ schedules and advance notice. Additional fees apply. Please contact the Museum for availability and to schedule at 904-829-0745.

Museum Education has outreach programs for all ages, bringing our history- and science-based programs to your classroom! Call 904-829-0745 x223 for more information and to book your group. Charges may apply.