Castillo de San Marcos National Monument Student Research

NPF connected students with Castillo De San Marcos National Monument research to teach civic and leadership skills and promote a student-hosted event.

The Castillo de San Marcos, built 1672-1695, served primarily as an outpost of the Spanish Empire guarding St. Augustine—the first permanent European settlement in the continental United States—and also protecting the sea route for treasure ships returning to Spain. Although the Castillo has served a number of nations throughout its history, it has never been taken by military force.

During the 18th century, the Castillo went from Spanish control to British and back to the Spanish, all by treaty. The Spanish remained in power in Florida until the area was purchased by the United States in 1821. Called Fort Marion at this time, the Castillo was used by the US army until 1899. The Castillo was made a national monument in 1924.

This project helped design hands-on activities that emphasized the importance of civic and leadership skills, and included a mentoring component. Students digitally documented their activities that they shared with external audiences. Last, students hosted a special event at the fort for their families and friends.