On-site classroom programs

Pre-K: Ages 3–5


Sea Stars, Urchins & Friends

Meet five different Puget Sound seashore animals: sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, sea anemones and clams. Through discussion, movement and song, students will learn fun facts about the animals and their habitat while reviewing colors and numbers. Explore even more during the free-choice activity time that includes a live animal station, magnet board and puppet play, a reading and puzzle corner, and a letter-matching activity. This introductory marine science program is perfect for preschools, Head Start classes, day care centers and other groups of young children.

Grades K–2


Sea Stars, Urchins & Friends (kindergarten)

Meet five different Puget Sound seashore animals: sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, sea anemones and clams. Through discussion, movement and song, students will learn fun facts about the animals and their habitat while reviewing colors and numbers. Explore even more during the free-choice activity time that includes a live animal station, magnet board and puppet play, a reading and puzzle corner, and a letter-matching activity. This introductory marine science program is perfect for kindergarten classes, preschools, Head Start classes, day care centers and other groups of young children.

 

Hands-On Tide Pool Exploration

Get up close and hands on with live tide pool animals. Through the use of puppets, live animals and discussion, students will learn about how these animals survive in their ever-changing habitat and how simple actions can help protect them.

 

Salmon Exploration

Learn about the life cycle of Seattle’s most iconic animal, the salmon. With the use of storyboards and interactive activities, students will explore salmon from egg to adult and discuss the many different factors that affect these amazing fish.

Grades 3–5


Orca Discovery

What do you have in common with an orca? Discover the connections we share by comparing the life cycle and physical structure of orcas to humans while building a life-size whale skeleton. Instructors will lead students in a discussion of how our actions can negatively and positively affect these amazing animals.

 

Puget Sound Plankton Discovery

Discover the most abundant organisms in Puget Sound: plankton! After conducting their own plankton tow, students will use microscopes to discover how plankton can be sorted into animals and plants, and the role plankton plays in providing food for all as the base of the marine food web.

 

Hands-On Tide Pool Discovery

Get hands on with Puget Sound’s most common tide pool invertebrates! Learn about animals like hermit crabs, sea urchins and snails; the adaptations that help them survive in the intertidal zone; and the positive and negative effects we can have on the animals and their ecosystem.

Grades 6–8


Sea Otter Conservation Research

Did you know that the Seattle Aquarium conducts research on wild sea otter populations on the outer coast of Washington state? Join an Aquarium instructor in the classroom to find out how Shawn Larson, our curator of conservation research, plans and conducts fieldwork investigating the foraging success of sea otter populations. The story of Shawn’s research is embedded in discussions, video clips of Shawn, and data collected by the students who will act as Shawn’s research assistants. Students will participate in hands-on activities, touch live invertebrates from Puget Sound, and have rich discussion about what story their data tells and how it can be used in sea otter conservation efforts.

NGSS Practice: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect, Disciplinary Core Idea: MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

 

Oysters and Ocean Chemistry Research

Ocean chemistry is rapidly changing as excess carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is absorbed into the water. Students will discover how this affects larval oysters and oyster farmers in Puget Sound, and how Simone Alin, oceanographer at NOAA, helps the farmers monitor ocean chemistry to maintain healthy hatchery conditions. Video clips integrated throughout the class allow students to hear Simone’s story directly from the source. Students will conduct two different pH tests to understand the relationship between CO2 and pH in the ocean; analyze graphs of real data from local ocean moorings to identify patterns in ocean chemistry; discuss solutions to the oyster farmers’ challenges; and get hands-on with live oysters.

NGSS Practice: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Crosscutting Concept: Patterns, Disciplinary Core Idea: MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

High school (grades 9–12)


Marine Invertebrate Lab

Discover the rich diversity of animals that call the Puget Sound nearshore habitat home. By interacting with live marine invertebrates, students will learn how to classify animals into phyla based on physical characteristics. They will also explore the biodiversity of the intertidal ecosystem, and the ways in which the organisms are interrelated.

 

Oysters and Ocean Chemistry Lab

Ocean chemistry is rapidly changing as excess carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is absorbed into the water. Students will discover how this affects larval oysters and oyster farmers in Puget Sound, and how Simone Alin, oceanographer at NOAA, helps the farmers monitor ocean chemistry to maintain healthy hatchery conditions. Video clips integrated throughout the class allow students to hear Simone’s story directly from the source. Students will conduct two different pH tests to understand the relationship between CO2 and pH in the ocean; analyze graphs of real data from local ocean moorings to identify patterns in ocean chemistry; discuss solutions to the oyster farmers’ challenges; and get hands-on with live oysters.

NGSS Practice: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Crosscutting Concept: Patterns