STEM Programs

[email protected] for questions

One Burnside Street

Bristol, RI, 02809 USA

STEM Programs

Science • Technology • Engineering • ArtMath

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company from the start, was all about STEM! From the earliest days of the company Nathanael Herreshoff's quest to make his designs lighter, stronger and faster led to innovations in yacht design that are still relevant today. Captain Nat didn't know at the time but he was all about STEM.

The New Pathways Boat Shop

Inspiring young people to pursue their goals by allowing them to learn new and unique skills from boat building.

US Sailing's


at the Herreshoff Marine Museum

The New Pathways Boat Shop

New Pathways Boat Shop

Where traditional boat building and composite technology meet in a hands on, experiential program.

The New Pathways Boat Shop

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (HMCo.) was a pioneering boatbuilding company with core competencies in design, engineering and manufacturing. Its stories and interactive exhibits hold powerful lessons for the next generation. The Herreshoff Marine Museum’s New Pathways Boat Shop inspires young people to pursue their goals by allowing them to learn new and unique skills while building boats here in Bristol, Rhode Island, on the campus of the fabled Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. The New Pathways Boat Shop uses boat building to teach students skills that are transferable to all aspects of life - skills that will help them achieve their dreams and inspire them to be the next generation of innovators.

Working in a boat shop is synonymous with being part of a family or team. Everyone has a role to play and skills are learned one at a time building upon the previous skill. With each additional tool placed in the toolbox the learner becomes more competent and capable. Eventually the learner becomes the teacher and the roles are repeated. Students in the New Pathways Boat Shop have the opportunity to be both teacher and student. Critical thinking, planning, problem solving, effective communication, goal setting, time management, and teamwork are all necessary when you work in a boat shop. 

The New Pathways Boat Shop provides programs for youth incorporating career exploration, work experiences, leadership development, adult mentoring, basic skills development and job readiness skills for their students. By participating in the program students will increase marine trades-specific knowledge: boat design, reading plans and engineering drawings, boatbuilding, carpentry, tool handling and use, and 21st century skills like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, planning and goal setting that are transferable to other fields.

Our programs increase awareness of employment opportunities by exposing young learners to multiple career pathways within the marine trades industry and helping them learn skills that employers are seeking in their work force. Students experience industry guest speakers and tours, as well as classroom/shop -based activities and assessments. Students also participate in tours and receive information on post-secondary schools that teach skills that the employers are looking for. 

The New Pathways Boat shop offers year-round programs for youth and adults. For more information on upcoming opportunities contact the museum's Education Director, Kirk Cusic at [email protected]

US Sailing's REACH Program at HMM

US Sailing

US Sailing's curriculum at the Herreshoff Marine Museum

US Sailing's REACH STEAM Sailing Program at Herreshoff Marine Museum. 

The Herreshoff Marine Museum is dedicated to the education and the inspiration of the public through presentations of the history and innovative work of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and the America’s Cup competition. The Museum, bordering beautiful Narragansett Bay, is one of the nation’s most important historic maritime treasures. We regularly host classic yacht regattas, sponsor symposia on classic yacht design and restoration and operate a sailing school for youth and adults. We celebrate excellence in design, innovation, education and technology. 

Here at the Herreshoff Marine Museum, we have incorporated US Sailing’s Reach Curriculum into our education program. HMM has a long and diverse history and is honored by the opportunity to provide a unique and exciting STEAM experience in the classroom and on the Bristol waterfront. Through the Reach curriculum, we have taken education at the museum to the next level by utilizing the inherently STEAM-oriented concepts in sailing as a basis for a hands-on educational experience for students of all ages. 

We employ an inquiry-based learning model which allows for student-led discussion and exploration. Every day at the museum, we are exploring and learning whether we are out on the Bay or in the classroom. Experiential learning has been shown to make lasting connections for students, and investigating science through the experiences you have on the water sailing is what Reach is all about. 

The museum hosts groups from schools far and wide who come to learn about the history of design and innovation that occurred right here on these very grounds where you can walk in the footsteps of the great “Wizard of Bristol” Nathanael G. Herreshoff himself! Many people never have the opportunity to sail on a classic yacht. Learning to sail on board a Herreshoff 12 ½ is the opportunity of a lifetime. 

There are few activities that teach so many important 21st Century skills and lessons the way sailing does: cause and effect, problem-solving, flexibility and initiative, science and technology, critical thinking, collaboration, and much more. We empower students to take the tiller aboard one of our classic 12½s and watch their confidence soar in and out of the classroom. 

For more information on the museum's Reach STEAM Sailing Program contact the museum's Education Director, Kirk Cusic at [email protected]