Educational Programs at NESS

Invitation to Educators

Teachers are turning to NESS to help them expand their students’ learning opportunities. Our nationally-recognized, award-winning ocean adventure education programs support your science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum and provide opportunities to get your students out of the classroom and on the water!

Utilizing an inquiry-based approach to learning, NESS emphasizes “hands-on, minds-on” skill development and reinforces STEM concepts by incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Ocean Literacy Principles. NESS also utilizes the US Sailing REACH curriculum to provide on and off the water activities. Our educators encourage students to connect STEM concepts to the ocean’s influence on us all, as well as our influence on the ocean. These concepts are especially important to communities’ watersheds, which reach Long Island Sound.

NESS is an Accredited School Partner Program

In November 2018, NESS became the first school partner program to be accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NESS sought accreditation to demonstrate its commitment and passion to provide the highest quality educational experience for all students, complementing and enhancing students’ traditional school experiences. The NEASC accreditation process combined with the peer review will help NESS continue to advance its mission, vision, core values, and curriculum to address the ever-changing educational landscape.

Scholarship Opportunities

NESS’s scholarship program enables outreach to underserved communities and students, providing everyone with opportunities for experiential learning, personal growth, and stewardship of our communities and environment. Schools may qualify for scholarship funds based on the percentage of students that are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch. To find out if your school qualifies, please contact us at 860.535.9362 or email.

Customize Your Own Program

Educational Programs at NESS

Studying something different with your class? Looking for the perfect team-building program or field trip? Work with us to customize your own program and meet your students’ learning needs. Coordinate our programs with your curriculum by selecting from various marine science, adventure sports, and/or sailing options. Utilize our unique waterfront and facility, the marine science lab and/or our extensive fleet of watercraft to create your own exciting, engaging, and hands-on ocean adventure program.

NESS can accommodate up to 60 students by rotating groups through engaging stations. Our most popular field trip is set up with 3 rotations, and can include any classes listed on our Educational Programs page (link to educational programs page), and usually combines the following subjects:

Rotation 1: Sailing
Rotation 2: Kayaking
Rotation 3: Marine Science (i.e. plankton lab, touch tanks, exploring local tide pools)

Traveling Programs

Can’t come to NESS? We can come to you! We can design a program specifically for you at your school or location of choice. Many of the classes listed above can be adapted for your classroom.

Adaptive Programs (SEAL)

NESS’s Supportive Environmental Adventure Learning (SEAL) Programs are custom-built to suit the needs of your group of students. Programs incorporate a socially-inclusive environment and provide fun, engaging, hands-on, ocean-related activities. Students will have the opportunity to work as a team, become more socially aware, and care for the ocean and natural environment. Many of the classes listed above can also be adapted to a supportive learning environment.

Reserve Your Experience Today!

Prices vary based on program choices and number of students. To make a reservation please call 860.535.9362 or email with the following information: Dates, Grade Level, Number of Students, Rotation 1 Choice, Rotation 2 Choice, and Rotation 3 Choice.


“The programs were developmentally-appropriate and engaging. There was very good classroom management and the NESS staff made sure each student tried everything. They had a lot of knowledge of the subject matter and were clear about what they wanted the students to understand.”

– Elementary School Teacher

“The program was beyond what I had imagined and presented an excellent challenge and complement to our grade 8 science curriculum. The hands-on lessons actively reinforced our curriculum while our students employed 21st-century skills to their learning. Student engagement was at its highest, teachers had the opportunity to observe some fresh and exciting lesson ideas, and the entire session was productive from start to finish. Your effort, attention to the needs of our particular school, and follow through were excellent. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

– Middle School Principal

“You make it real. My students were chatting up a storm about the trip and the good time that they had while learning important concepts. I want to bring more students to NESS to motivate them in their academic goals.”

– High School Teacher