Holt Education Center

SEF’s Holt Education Center is a state-of-the-art, 11,000-square-foot educational space that hosts programs for school and adult groups focusing on biology, environmental science, geography, and human history. Programs are tailored to fit specific school and grade-level goals, but can include organism dissection, animal physiology, geography, hydrology, estuarine science, climate change, and Native American history. Programs at the Holt Center can easily be combined with other SEF programs to create a full-day experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age range of students can participate in a program at the Holt Education Center?
Programs at the Holt Education Center can accommodate any age, from kindergarten students to adult groups.
How many students can participate in a program at the Holt Education Center?
The Holt Center has a maximum capacity of 60 students, though smaller groups are more common.
How long are programs at the Holt Education Center?
Programs at the Center generally last from 1.5 – 3 hours.
What do students learn during programs at the Holt Education Center?
Stand-alone programs at the Holt Education Center generally focus on the organisms that live in the Chesapeake Bay, Native Americans of the Chesapeake region, early colonial settlement and the 1608 voyages of Captain John Smith, the history of the schooner Sultana and the Bay in the 18th century, or a combination of these topics. Teachers can also visit the Center for science-based programs featuring dissections in the Wet Lab. Typical organisms dissected with students include oysters, clams, crayfish, and squid.
Are the programs accessible to disabled students?
Yes, the Holt Education Center is 100% ADA compliant.
What time of year are programs available?
Programming in the Holt Education Center occurs year-round, though for much of the summer months (June– August) the Center is used as a base of operations for summer camps. Peak months for school and adult groups to visit are September through mid-June.
What will I see in the Holt Education Center?
There are lots of very cool things to see and do at the Holt Education Center. These include a 30’ x 30’ floor map of the Chesapeake Bay, aquariums full of fish, crabs, turtles, and oysters, a large model of the schooner Sultana, and an interactive exhibit featuring the history of Native Americans of the Chesapeake region. Additional 17th and 18th century historic artifacts can be displayed upon request.
How much does a program at the Holt Education Center cost?
Generally, programs at the Holt Education Center cost between $5 to $15 per student. Costs vary depending on the number of students attending the session, duration of the program, and the cost of materials needed to run the activities.
What happens if it rains?
Since this is an indoor facility, all programs go on as scheduled – rain or shine!
Can a program at the Holt Education Center be run in conjunction with other programs that take place on the water?
Yes! Activities at the Holt Education Center are often combined with under-sail programs aboard the schooner Sultana, canoe trips on Radcliffe Creek, or visits to the Lawrence Wetland Preserve. Call the Sultana Education Foundation’s main office to inquire about these full-day, hybrid indoor/outdoor programs.
What are the qualifications of your staff members?
Staff members at the Sultana Education Foundation generally have many years working with students in the field of environmental education, and several have classroom teaching experience as well.
What about safety?
All of Sultana’s staff members are certified in CPR and First Aid. The Holt Education Center is regularly inspected by the local health department and fire marshal, and is equipped with smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and security cameras.