On-site School Programs

The Aquarium is an excellent resource for educators and students. We offer grade-appropriate programs aligned to state and national standards as well as to the national Ocean Literacy principles. Programs are hands-on and designed to augment your classroom instruction. Pre- and post-materials are available under each program description below.

On-site school programs are available Monday through Friday at 10:15, 11:15, 1:15, and 2:15. All programs must be arranged in advance by calling (541) 867-3474, Ext. 5301, Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Email us anytime at education@aquarium.org.

Self-Guided Visit Materials

On-site School Programs

  • $60 fee for each on-site school program.
  • Programs require one chaperone for every 5 students.

Mixed-Age Programs

It’s a Rough Life
Mixed Grades K-6: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
The rocky shore is a tough neighborhood. Students will learn about the remarkable ways tidepool residents are adapted to weather the extremes of life on the rocks.

Supporting Materials (Español)

Pre-school through 3rd Grade Programs

NEW: Get a Grip!
Grades 1st (can be adapted for K and 2nd): 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
How do tidepool animals thrive in Oregon’s wild waves? Discover how through a hands-on investigation of these creatures and their amazing features which help them survive. Compare and contrast these features with familiar objects to learn how nature inspires human inventions!

Get a Grip Teacher’s Guide | Get a Grip Chaperone Guide

Coastal Close-up: Sea Urchins and Anemones
Grades PreK – 1st: 30-45 minutes; 10-25 students plus chaperones
Have fun with live animals and costumes while you take a peek at the lives of sea urchins and anemones!

Tide Pool Talk
Grades K – 2nd: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
Tide pools are full of life. Students compare their own special behaviors and qualities to those of four tide pool animals, learning how they eat, move, see and protect themselves.

Supporting Materials (Español)

Coastal Comparisons
Grades 1st  3rd: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
Discover animals from both sandy and rocky shore habitats through up-close observations and opportunities to compare and contrast. Explore each animal’s amazing adaptations for eating, moving and seeing in its unique habitat.

Sea Cycles
Grades 2nd 3rd: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
The end of every cycle is only a beginning. Students will explore four ocean cycles while they dress a puffin in its breeding plumage, take a trip with a gray whale, get to know members of a kelp forest food cycle and explore the stages of a crab’s life cycle.

Supporting Materials (Español)

What’s for Lunch?
Grades 1-3: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
In this introduction to marine food chains, students will explore four ocean habitats and learn about a food chain from each. Using live animals and marine biofacts, students will discover where some sea animals head when they have a snack attack!

4th through 5th Grade programs

NEW: Plankton Investigation
Grades 4th  (can be adapted for 3rd): 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
Discover the world of plankton! Use scientific tools to collect microscopic life from the Yaquina Bay and examine the external structures of plankton. Use scientific reasoning to complete the lifecycle of a local mystery plankton. Make predictions, investigate, and discover!

Plankton Investigation Teacher’s Guide | Plankton Investigation Chaperone’s Guide

Fins, Flippers and Flukes
Grades 3-5: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
The success of marine mammals depends on special adaptations for keeping warm, finding food and communicating in the dark, cold ocean. Focusing on sea otters, seals, sea lions and whales, students will examine fur, blubber, bones and teeth to discover how marine mammals are adapted for life at sea.

Supporting Materials (Español)

Feeding Frenzy
Grades 4-5: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
It’s an eat-or-be-eaten life in the sea. Through close-up animal observation, students take a look at the complexities of marine food webs and see what happens when humans join the web.

Supporting Materials

6th through 8th Grade Programs

Ocean Commotion

Grades 6-8: 45-50 minutes; 10-35 students plus chaperones
An animal has to be tough to survive the harsh conditions on Oregon’s rocky shores. Students investigate marine invertebrates from four phyla and how they’ve adapted to this rough-and-tumble environment.

Supporting Materials

9th through 12th Grade Programs

Behind the Scenes Tour
Grades 9-12: 45-55 minutes; 5 to 15 students, $45 flat rate for 5 to 15 participants (including chaperones).

This tour takes high school and college students behind-the-scenes to discover all about the science of animal care, training and water quality. How does the Aquarium care for a swarm of stinging jellies, a five-hundred-pound California sea lion and dozens of toothy sharks? Travel behind-the-scenes with us to explore the science behind caring for over 15,000 animals every day and discover what career possibilities await you.