The Penobscot Marine Museum’s Marine Touch Tank has moved to its newest winter location: the lobby of Searsport Elementary School, where staff and students will care for it and its inhabitants until the museum opens in late May.

This past fall the museum asked local schools to host the tank over the winter. Stockton Springs Elementary School was selected to be its first home. Principal Linda Bowe and third-grade teacher Bill Myers took on the challenge of learning to care for the tank. Mike Dunn, from Marine Education Experience Unlimited, trained the Stockton team on the care and maintenance of the tank and its occupants: lobsters, sea urchins, crabs, starfish, sea anemones, clams and other mollusks, to name a few. Myers and his third-graders did an outstanding job.

On Feb. 24 the tank was moved to its next winter home at Searsport Elementary School. Principal Erin Woodsome was enthusiastic in her support of this educational opportunity. The two fourth-grade teachers, Mrs. Seamans and Mrs. Farrar, along with their students and the After School Program’s staff and students will all learn how to take care of the tank. Mike Dunn trained them March 3.

In late May, the tank will move back to its permanent home in the Old Vestry Building’s “Marine Science Lab,” part of Penobscot Marine Museum. The lab is one of two drop-in spaces for children and families on the museum campus.

Special thanks go to Hamilton Marine for providing a truck to transport the tank, thereby allowing many children to benefit from this experience.

The Penobscot Marine Museum was founded in 1936 and is Maine’s oldest maritime museum. Its Searsport grounds comprise 13 historic buildings, including ship captains’ homes, an early town hall, and two boat houses. Eight of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and together they represent Searsport when it was a bustling port during the Age of Sail. Inside the historic structures, artifacts, exhibits and interpreters tell the stories of Maine’s seafaring past.

The Penobscot Marine Museum is located at U.S. Highway 1 and Church Street in Searsport, between Bucksport and Belfast. For more information and scheduled events, visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org.