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Charting a Course for the Next Generation: Creative Ideas for SS United States Kids

The SS United States remains an icon of American design and engineering, capturing the imagination of young people across the globe with her miraculous survival and boundless future potential, and inspiring the next generation of scientists, designers and innovators.

Young artist and supporter Ryan Miller, age 14, recently took a visit to the Apple Store as an opportunity to produce an extraordinary digital drawing of the SS United States. Ryan's father, Scott Miller, reached out to share: "Since the products are on display for all to see, Ryan thought it would be the perfect place to draw a picture of the Big U to raise awareness."

Passionate young SS United States supporter and artist Ryan Miller poses in the Apple Store with his artwork. It reads: " SAVE OUR FLAGSHIP." Photograph courtesy of Scott Miller.


Today, the Conservancy needs all hands on deck to help us rescue and restore this extraordinary vessel. SS United States enthusiasts of all ages can play a crucial role in spreading the word about America's Flagship.

Below, check out a few creative ideas for parents, teachers and students:

  • Make a model of the SS United States

  • Make a presentation to a class, all-school assembly or scout troop meeting on the history of the SS United States and the urgent need to save her

  • Draw or paint the SS United States – and don't forget to send us a photo!

  • Set up a classroom blog about the SS United States

  • Build boats and race them against each other, as students recently did at Tenafly High School's "William Francis Gibbs Interscholastic Engineering and Design Competition"

  • Create “Save the United States” travel posters to help spread the word

  • Design your own passenger ship that can be turned into a troop ship. What safety features would you include?

  • Design or color your own ship propellers – and learn all about pioneering female engineer Elaine Kaplan

  • Design a math worksheet for calculating distance and speed for ships

  • Compare how long it took for the SS United States, the Queen Mary, the Mayflower, the Santa Maria and other famous ships to cross the Atlantic, and try to calculate their speeds

  • Compose a song about the SS United States. One classroom in California performed the ship’s special song – First Lady of the Sea – on their ukuleles!

  • At 990 feet, the SS United States is longer than three football fields! Go to a large outdoor area and measure out the ship’s dimensions with flags or marking chalk

Feeling inspired? Be sure to drop us a line at if you try out any of these exciting SS United States projects!

SS United States fans like Max Strasbaugh, age 4, give us hope that America's Flagship will endure and inspire for generations to come. Photograph courtesy of Mike Strasbaugh.


Can't get enough? You can find more ideas for how you can help save America's Flagship HERE and more activities for young supporters on our website.

The SS United States remains a soaring example of our ability to join arm-in-arm to advance common goals. It took many hands to build her, and it will take all of us, working together, to save her. Make your donation today.

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