Our students aren't just dipping their toes into the maritime industry, they're diving in. Since the first day of school on September 2, Maritime High School’s inaugural class of 37 students has quickly gotten to work in boats and on the shores of the Puget Sound.
Maritime High School connects students with hands-on, project-based learning, preparing them for local maritime careers or college. Students spend up to three days a week in the field, which could be on the water, in the community or on the Duwamish River. Other days they are in the classroom or lab where they could be learning about legislative advocacy, learning to use hand and shop tools as the basis for boat building or studying the effect of microplastics on the ocean. On Fridays, students learn remotely, checking in with teachers and working on learning presentations.
Many days their classroom is the Admiral Jack, a twin-hulled, 49-passenger foot ferry, where students are the crew.
I think it's been the best two months of my life so far, honestly. - Minoa Lindholm, Maritime student
In the 11th- and 12th-grade years, students will participate in internships to gain workforce skills and knowledge.
The school, currently located at the Olympic Interim Site in Des Moines, is administered by Highline Public Schools in partnership with Northwest Maritime Center, Port of Seattle and Duwamish River Community Coalition.
Maritime High School is a Highline school of choice. It is open to students across the region with 51% of seats reserved for Highline students. The goal is to recruit 100 students for the class of 2026. Interested incoming 9th- and 10th-grade students can apply for the 2022-23 school year starting January 3.
This video was produced by Northwest Maritime Center and Darcy Blue Productions.
Why Maritime and Why Now?
Two words: abundant opportunity.
The maritime industry is a pillar of the state’s economy, yet workforce gaps threaten the sector. More than 800 maritime businesses in King County alone provide 19,500 jobs that pay on average $82,800 per year, substantially better on average than other state industries. The maritime industry projects a job shortage of 150,000 mariners by 2025. The sector continues to grow an average of 6.4% a year, buoyed by the latest technologies. Maritime High School will address the workforce gap by training today’s students for well-paid, meaningful, and lasting careers.
I chose this school because I really love marine biology, and I also heard it was hands-on learning, which can be really helpful for me, because I remember things better when I actually do them. So rather than sitting down in a classroom, and just reading about boats, we're able to go out into the field and get that experience for it.
I chose Maritime High School because I wanted something different in my education. The big theme, I should say, of our project is what makes a community. We've been learning about the cultures that are around the Duwamish River, and the people who live near it.
We've been learning Lushootseed, which is the native language for Washington. We've also been going out on the boat a lot, the Admiral Jack, and kind of figuring it out, figuring out how to drive it, cleaning it up. Kind of making it our own so we can be prepared to do that in the future.
When I came into this school. I didn't fully know what the maritime industry was. I kind of just thought it was marine biology centered, around animals. But after going to the school, I can kind of see it's more about all the people that are in it, and the industry itself, like more boating, and it kind of is a very global thing.
Something like a community learning showcase, where they're not only able to demonstrate that learning, but they're able to share that with their community. The community learns, and hears, about what's happening, and there becomes that generation of interests, and momentum, and change. When students start to realize that they are active participants in their own learning, that really can be transformational.
At Maritime, you get lots and lots of fieldwork. You get to go outside, you get to enjoy some fresh air. And you get to just meet new people, and have new experiences, that at other schools you just wouldn't have.
I think it's been the best two months of my life so far, honestly. And it's really good being with people who share the same interests as us, because it's a really good community to be in as well.