Meadville Tribune

June 1, 2009

VIDEO and SLIDESHOW: Classroom under sail

Click image for slideshow

The sixth-graders at Meadville’s Second District Elementary School were so abuzz with everything they saw, learned and handled during their Friday field trip that the fact that they were sailing into history was little more than an afterthought. But the class was one of the first in a pilot program to bring classes on board the Brig Niagra to conduct lessons in science and history.

Read more about it below and

To find out more about the U.S. Brig Niagara’s key role in the Battle of Lake Erie and its current use as a training ship and ambassador for the State of Pennsylvania, go to on the Web.

Brig Niagra is a sailing classroom from The Meadville Tribune on Vimeo.

Did you know?

Pennsylvania Sea Grant was established in 1998 as a partnership between Penn State University, the State of Pennsylvania and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its goals are to: enhance coastal tourism and sustainable land-use practices; improve the knowledge and understanding of Pennsylvania's coastlines among teachers and students of all ages; support applied research on issues critical to coastal resources and management; disseminate information about services available through NOAA and other partner organizations.

Learn more: Go to on the Web.

Meadville Tribune

There’s new management aboard as the U.S. Brig Niagara, one of two War of 1812-era vessels left afloat, charts a course through the choppy waters of Pennsylvania’s recession-driven budget crisis.

The ship, which is owned by the State of Pennsylvania, received most of its funding through the agency designated to manage it, the state Historical and Museum Commission. Cuts to the commission’s budget threatened to force the ship to stay docked this year, scuttling its usual sailing schedule. The ship serves as an ambassador for the state of Pennsylvania, traveling to ports around the U.S. It also has sailing training programs and pleasure cruises.

In an effort to keep the ship sailing, The Flagship Niagara League, a non-profit organization that supports the ship, has taken over its management and has embarked on a fundraising effort to fill the gap in funding caused by the state’s cuts.

You can help the league keep the ship sailing by volunteering, becoming a member or making a donation. Sailing opportunities are also available for individuals and the ship can be rented for educational or pleasure cruises.

n Learn more: Go to or call (814) 452-2744.