BaySail's info

BaySail's Mission

>> To foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay Watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide personal development opportunities for learners of all ages through ship board and land based educational experiences. <<


Education Under Sail

Science Under Sail program

BaySail offers educational experiences for K-12th grade, pre- and in-service teachers, and internships. Basic programs are 3.5 hours long, depart from downtown Bay City and include visits to the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay. These programs include: Science Under Sail, History Under Sail, and Ecosail. Extended voyages across the Great Lakes are also offered. Because our mission is grounded in environmental education, all BaySail programs include an environmental science component aimed at increasing the proficiency of participants in STEM realted subjects.

Science Under Sail engages students in real-world problem-based learning, through scientific observations and measurements of weather, water quality, aquatic life, and human impact on the environment. Unique shipboard lessons encourage higher order thinking through collaboration with peers and experts. Each sail's cirriculum uses grade level specific materials aligned with Michigan Science GLCEs.

History Under Sail takes students back in time to the Michigan wilderness of the 1800s. Students learn about Michigan's abndant natural resources, focusing on how early settlers harvested wood, water, and wildlife. Students use photographs, stories, and artifacts, to research life in Michigan between 1837 and 1900. History Under Sail follows the new, grade four, Michigan history requirements for the Michigan GLCEs.

Ecosail programs are specifically designed for smaller youth groups and combine the scientific exploration of water quality and aquatic life with seamanship, navigation and survival at sea activities. Programs can be customized to meet your specific group requirements.

Educators love our educational programs because they are comprehensive, place-based experiential programs that nuture a love of learning. BaySail programs reference the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, STEM subjects, and include an Educator's Manual featuring pre-trip materials that reinforce the lessons learned while aboard the ship.

Students love our educational programs because they are unique and memorable. Students are atively engaged in ship-board activities and encouraged to become scientists for the day. Participants tackle everything from gathering and analyzing water and benthic samples to raising the sails and steering the ship.


Sample Science Under Sail Itinerary:
Downriver Stations:
Weather - take readings of humidity, wind velocity, and temperature
Navigation - learn basic navigation techniques using a nautical chart and instruments
Observation - identify birds, waterfowl, point source and nonpoint source pollution
Saginaw Bay: Students gather samples of lake bottom (benthos), water, and plankton.
Sailing: Students and crew raise the sails and coil the lines.
Upriver Stations:
Benthic -analyze bottom sample for organisms
Water - analyze water sample for temperature and clarity,and levels of dissolved oxygen, PH, nitrates and nitrites.
Plankton - identify and examine live plankton with microscopes below deck


Click here for the shipboard itinerary.