Mystic Seaport Names East Lyme High School Teacher Winner of Orion Award

Jason Hine (in white jacket), winner of 2010 Orion Award at Mystic Seaport Mystic, Conn. ~ Jason Hine, a Social Studies teacher at East Lyme High School in East Lyme, CT, has been awarded the Mystic Seaport Orion Award for Excellence in Experiential Education. He was honored at an awards dinner May 21.

Mystic Seaport presents the award each year to a teacher who draws upon the rich array of educational opportunities offered at the Museum to create innovative and experiential classroom lessons.

“Great teachers are like constellations,” said Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport. “They help students navigate by pointing the way, leading them to new lands and then home again, wiser and more experienced.”

At East Lyme High School, Hine has implemented a public history approach in his teaching, bringing students out of the classroom and into the field for first-hand encounters with the places, artifacts and activities that illuminate their classroom studies. Each of Hine’s classes visits Mystic Seaport several times during a semester to study various aspects of maritime history including whaling, fishing and ship construction.

“As a life-long learner, Jason continually adds to his repertoire through experiential learning, as well as research-based study,” said Funk. “To further develop his working knowledge of maritime history and heritage, Jason has worked at Mystic Seaport on the demonstration squad and sailed aboard Niagara and the Amistad. Through his actions and passion, he inspires his students to do the same.”

Hine explored his interest in maritime education as a graduate student in the Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan University. He wrote his M.A. thesis on fictional and non-fictional accounts of whaling using the Museum’s vast resources—from the Charles W. Morgan to the G.W. Blunt White Library – during his research. As a teacher at East Lyme High School, Hine created the school’s first maritime history course ever offered, and participated in the Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport for several summers prior as further preparation.