The Orion Award for Excellence in Experiential Education was introduced in 2005 in honor of the Museum’s 75th Anniversary. Named for one of the most familiar constellations–the Hunter Orion, son of the sea god Poseidon–Orion has often marked the course for many seagoing vessels. This annual award recognizes stellar teachers who are inspiring to their students and to their colleagues. Teachers who are willing to take chances, to take full advantage of the resources that are available to them, to be creative and to be ready to turn an unexpected moment into a spectacular teaching opportunity. And, perhaps most importantly, teachers who radiate the joy of learning, as well as of teaching.
Each year, Mystic Seaport celebrates one or more teachers for their commitment in utilizing the Museum’s collections, programs and learning resources to create meaningful and innovative learning experiences for their students. The Orion Award recognizes teachers who infuse history, math, science and literature with a maritime focus. Teachers who use museum resources to illuminate history, and create a living record that reflects America’s present and future as well as its past. Through the Orion Award, Mystic Seaport acknowledges the unique skills and abilities of teachers to link disciplines and communicate ideas with their students, helping their students navigate the course of life.