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Digging, Diving, and Documenting: The Process of Nautical Archaeology - Field Trip

LCMM nautical archaeologist records a Lake Champlain shipwreck
Diver recording a shipwreck in Lake Champlain

2.5-hour field trip program held at the Museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades 4+ (maximum 48 participants)

Discover Lake Champlain’s rich legacy of shipwrecks and the evolving strategies to preserve, document and manage them. In this hands-on multi-disciplinary program, students learn about the techniques and challenges of documenting underwater sites, and discover the importance of artifact location on board the gunboat Philadelphia II. Learn about the equipment used in underwater exploration and the techniques used in our laboratory to conserve artifacts removed from the lake. Students will “dive” in and become underwater archaeologists while documenting a “shipwreck”. This program recreates the process of nautical archaeology as realistically as can be done without going underwater. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.

New! Special Add-On Option - Shipwrecks!
Students "dive" on historic shipwrecks using a remote controlled robot (ROV) operated from a boat at the surface of the lake. This program is offered either in conjunction with Digging, Diving Documenting, or as the stand-alone program Shipwrecks (see description below). Call us at 802-475-2022 for details.


Shipwrecks! - Field Trip

LCMM Educator Rachael sends down the ROV to explore a shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Champlain
Use an ROV to explore shipwrecks in "real-time"!

You and your students take a boat ride on Basin Harbor Club's EScape, and "dive" with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) on a shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Champlain! The field trip begins with a short presentation on the history and archaeology of the lake, focused on how archaeologists discover and record the shipwrecks that are found. Students then go aboard the tour boat EScape and head out to the shipwreck, viewing it live with the ROV. The closest wreck for viewing at our Basin Harbor facility is Champlain II, a nineteenth-century steamboat that went aground in 1875. Other sites may be visited if your interests or the weather dictate otherwise. This experience may also be combined with one of our guided programs; it works extremely well with Digging, Diving, and Documenting, the Process of Nautical Archaeology (see description above.) We also recommend combining this program with a Self-Guided visit of our site. Discounted rates available for multiple programs. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.

Read what the King Street Youth Center wrote about us in their blog King Street Voices

$300 per trip. Maximum number of people in overall group, including teachers and chaperones, is 42.

What’s on the Bottom of Lake Champlain? - Outreach

LCMM educator brings artifacts to the classroom
LCMM educator brings artifacts from a
Lake Champlain shipwreck into the classroom.

1 hour 15 minute outreach program
Grades 4+ (maximum 45 participants)

There are hundreds of well-preserved shipwrecks on the bottom of Lake Champlain. An educator will present a slide show of the process of Nautical Archaeology. Students will then become historical detectives as they use artifacts from one of Lake Champlain’s shipwrecks to solve the mystery of a sunken vessel.







Boy Scout Archaeology Merit Badge

Scouts from Vermont Troop 624 visit LCMM's Conservation Laboratory to earn their Archaeology Merit Badge
Scouts from Vermont Troop 624 visit LCMM's Conservation Laboratory to earn their Archaeology Merit Badge.
See more photos and read about their visit in our Blog article "Troop 624 Visits LCMM".

Are you a fan of Indiana Jones? Want to learn how to clean iron using electricity? Interested in finding out more about the shipwrecks here on Lake Champlain?  Your Boy Scout Troop can earn their Archaeology Merit Badge right here at LCMM with Conservation Technician and Merit Badge Counselor Alex Lehning. Discover more about the history and archaeology of our region, discuss the various methods used by our nautical archeologists to explore underwater, learn about different treatment methods for artifacts, and even perform your own hands-on conservation project in our state-of-the-art Conservation Lab. Learn more about specific badge requirements.

Boy Scouts and adult leaders are invited to contact us at (802) 475-2022 or for more information about scheduling a visit.


The Phoenix Kit - Resource

In 1819, the steamboat Phoenix mysteriously caught fire during a routine trip down Lake Champlain. Six of the forty-six passengers lost their lives. Primary documents are used to study this dramatic event in Lake Champlain’s history. The kit also includes video, books, artifacts, maps, and more.

Cost: $20 for 2-week loan (delivery not included).