Adopt a ship: connecting your classroom to the marine industry
What is it?
The “Adopt A Ship” program is a free, useful, sustainable, enjoyable and well-developed “tool” that can help begin the process of increasing the children’s “awareness” of seafarers, shipping and the maritime community, and the critical importance they play in the quality of life for almost everyone on the planet. This program allows students to connect with the marine industry while learning geography, culture, marine operations, and communication skills beyond the words in a textbook. By promoting awareness of the maritime industry in youth, this program can encourage students to pursue a maritime career.
The “Adopt a Ship” Program was initiated by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, (CSC), and the Cyprus Maritime Environmental Protection Association, (CYMEPA), in 2006 to bring together the Elementary Schools and Seafarers on board ships operated by CSC Members. The program expanded into the Philippines, Poland, India and Greece 2017. More than 70 ships now participate in the Cyprus program. More than 30 ships are participating in the Poland program. More than 4,500 children participated in Manila in 2018. To learn more about the program and download a program flyer, please visit the Cyprus "Adopt a Ship" Program page or connect on Facebook: “Adopt A Ship International.”
How does it work?
Versions of the Adopt A Ship program vary from country to country. The basic program consists of:
1. A senior officer (usually the Captain) onboard a ship exchanging a short email message with an elementary school classroom or an orphanage/shelter/hostel once a week. This communication focuses on life on board, cargo, trade patterns, geography, weather, and more.
2. The children are given a 2x3 meter world map with sea lanes that they use to track the movement of that ship.
Schools have the option to expand upon this basic program by implementing tests, scheduling in-person visits with the seafarers and captains either in school or at a designated industry site, utilizing Skype for video calling, and awarding certificates upon completion of the program.