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Pittsburgh Voyager General Information

Pittsburgh Voyager is a non-profit educational organization that operates a river learning center for students, teachers and the community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Voyager was founded in 1992 by a group of parents who wanted use Pittsburgh's rivers as an experiential classroom to get children excited about science, mathematics and learning.

All of Pittsburgh Voyager's programs are adventure-based, discovery programs that engage students, young and senior, in hands-on learning while exploring Pittsburgh's Three Rivers. At the center of Voyager's education programs are two retired U.S. Navy vessels originally used to train midshipmen in navigation. These vessels have been refurbished and put into educational service again as fully operational state-of-the-art floating classrooms now referred to as Voyager and Discovery.

Voyager's educational philosophy is, "Tell me, I'll forget; Show me, I might remember; Involve me, I'll understand." Pittsburgh Voyager offers educational services in two general categories that support this philosophy.

The Formal Education Program is for students in elementary, middle and high school and teachers. The mission of this program is to provide innovative river-based experiential education programs that motivate students to learn, enhance school curricula by linking classroom theory to real-world applications, improve critical thinking and cooperative learning, and instill a new understanding and appreciation for the region's waterways. Voyager's School Program includes teacher training, a classroom preparatory and follow-up curriculum, and an in-depth field experience aboard a Voyager vessel. Voyager's Formal Education Program menu includes Environmental Science on the Three Rivers, Boats Bridges and Water, River Tales, college programs and professional development workshops for teachers.

The Outreach Program provides educational adventures for the general public. The mission of the program is to present educational and interpretive opportunities for the public to learn about and experience the natural beauty and rich history of Pittsburgh's waterways. These programs also strive to instill in the public a new understanding and appreciation of the rivers that will ultimately result in a new sense of stewardship towards them. The Outreach Program menu includes Summer River Adventure Camps, Adventure Voyages, and Education Charters with partner organizations.

The heart and soul of Pittsburgh Voyager's operations and its success is the staff, volunteers and community agencies that support its educational goals. A volunteer Board of Directors governs Voyager. The staff includes full-time, part-time and seasonal employees that work in Education and Outreach, Boat Operations or Administration and Development.

  • 1992:PV is Incorporated
  • 1993:PV Obtains Nonprofit Status, Receives Key Planning Grants, YP-677 Journey from San Diego to Pittsburgh
  • 1994:First Staff Hired
  • 1995:Dock Completed, Voyager Launched and Pilot Season for Environmental Science School Program
  • 1996:PV recognized by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council with the Three Rivers Environmental Award and by the Ohio River Basin Consortium with the River Keeper Award
  • 1997:YP-676 Journey from New Orleans to Pittsburgh, Pilot Season for Summer Camp and Adventure Voyages, Administrative Offices moved from the South Side to the North Shore
  • 1998:Discovery Launched and Pilot Season for Boats, Bridges and Water School Program
  • 1999:PV recognized with the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and the Outstanding Environmental Education Award from the PA Alliance for Environmental Education and Pilot Season for Mon-U-Mental River Exploration Program
  • 2001:Renovations to Scout Completed