Back to School, Maritime-Style

The smell of fall is in the air, which means students in Northwest Maritime Center’s (NWMC’s) partner programs are back in the classroom and in the field. In both Port Townsend and Des Moines, NWMC provides access to experiences in the field and in the boatshop. These kinds of hands-on learning experiences can be transformative for young people, building confidence, problem-solving, and launching careers on and off the water.

Port Townsend Maritime Academy

Port Townsend Maritime Academy (PTMA) entered its fourth year this fall, and the 13 students of our 2022-23 class have already spent plenty of time out on the water—practicing rowing techniques, rowing a sustained mile, learning rescue procedures during crew overboard drills, and building boat handling skills in inflatables. PTMA provides a maritime-themed alternative learning experience to regional juniors and seniors. As students move through the different units of study, they gain relevant skills and certifications while earning up to three high school credits.

The Port Townsend Maritime Academy is made possible by a partnership between Port Townsend School District, West Sound Technical Skills Center, and the Northwest Maritime Center. 


Maritime High School

Across the sound in Des Moines, WA, students at Maritime High School have not only donned life jackets and cracked open books, but also welcomed Senator Patty Murray for a tour and conversation about what they are learning. “When we invest in our schools and students, we invest in our future,” said Senator Murray, “and programs like the ones here at Maritime High School play a huge part in making that a reality.”

Maritime High School is a collaborative project of Highline Public Schools, Northwest Maritime Center, Port of Seattle, and the Duwamish River Community Coalition. It welcomed its first 9th-grade class in 2021.



Do you know a young person who would be interested in PTMA or MHS? Visit their websites to learn more about how to enroll.