Teacher resources and workshops

Resources for use at the Seattle Aquarium

School programs at the Seattle Aquarium

Orientation video

Animal fact sheets
Seattle Aquarium scavenger hunt
Seattle Aquarium scavenger hunt large print
Seattle Aquarium scavenger hunt answer key
Exploration notebook, grades 3–6
Seattle Aquarium workbook, grades 4–6. Request free workbooks and pencils when registering. Available in English and Spanish.

Seattle Aquarium field guide

This color photo guide includes animals commonly seen on Puget Sound beaches and here at the Aquarium. Available in the following languages:

Seattle Aquarium social story

This social story, or visual guide, will help families and groups prepare for their visit to the Aquarium. May be especially useful for visitors with autism or sensory sensitivities, or younger audiences. Look through it before your visit, or print it out to bring with you.
View the social story here.

Explore the tide pools! (Kindergarten-grade 2)

Explore the tide pools! activity

Come explore our touch pools with your K-2nd graders!

This guide will allow your students to feel more connected to our marine environment while learning about tide pool animals.

Students will feel empathy for our marine environment by understanding how their experience compares and contrasts to our tide pool animals. They’ll practice perspective-taking while observing and touching our live tide pool animals. Afterwards, they can color this guide at home or school!

This guide supports:

  • Empathy Best Practices: Provide Experiences, Modeling, Framing and Increase Knowledge.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Practice: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Crosscutting Concept: Structure and Function, Disciplinary Core Ideas: K-ESS3.C: Human Impact on Earth Systems, 1-LS1.A: Structure and Function and 2-LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans.
  • Ocean Literacy Principles (OLP): OLP1, OLP5 & OLP6.


Go with the flow (grades 3-5)

Go with the flow activity

Enjoy learning all about plankton with your 3rd-5th graders!

This guide will allow your students to gain a better understanding of how connected they are to our marine environment while learning about plankton.

Students will feel more empathy for the marine environment by increasing their knowledge about plankton’s role in a Puget Sound food web, observing, identifying and touching live animals and using their creativity to design their very own plankton.

This guide supports:

  • Empathy Best Practices: Provide Experiences, Framing, Increase Knowledge and Activating the Imagination.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5-LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.
  • Ocean Literacy Principles (OLP): OLP1, OLP4, OLP5 & OLP6.

Science standards

Programs for kindergarten through grade 12 are designed to support Washington state science standards, including EALRs and NGSS/WSSLS. Please click here for classroom program standards.

Teacher planning pass

After you have received your field trip confirmation email, you may request a one-time teacher planning pass from our registrar. We encourage you to visit the Aquarium before your field trip to help with your planning process. The planning pass will be available to pick up at the admission gate with your school ID.

Resources for self-guided field trips to the beach

Beach orientation video

Chaperone guide for the beach
Species identification guide
Explore our Puget Sound beaches
Eelgrass or kelp forest
Tide pool animals

Resources for use in your classroom

Animal fact sheets


Web of Life (grades 2 and up)

Learn how different organisms are connected through an engaging activity focusing on a sea otter food web.
Web of Life activity


Build a Shell & Shell Dissolving (grades 4 and up)

Learn how changing ocean chemistry can negatively affect ocean invertebrates through a hands-on activity and an experiment.
Build a shell activity

Shell dissolving activity

Puget Sound orca information

Cetacean fact sheet

Solar power at the Seattle Aquarium
In partnership with Seattle City Light, the Seattle Aquarium installed a 49-kilowatt-hour photovoltaic array on the roof of Pier 59. The array generates electricity for Seattle City Light’s second Community Solar project. To view live readings of how much power the project is generating at the Seattle Aquarium and to learn more about solar power, click here.

Check out our sustainability page to see the Seattle Aquarium’s other green practices.


Plankton Activities (grades 9 and up)

Learn all about plankton through a hands-on lab activity, exciting math exercises, a fun writing assignment and a creative challenge.
Plankton lab

Plankton math challenge

Plankton identification guide

Phytoplankton biomass

Sinking slowly activity

Food Pyramid Activity (grades 9 and up)

Dive deep into a marine themed food pyramid and learn all about energy transfer via fun math exercises.
Whale food pyramid activity


Sea Star Activities:

Learn all about how sea star populations are being affected by sea star wasting disease (SSWD) with fun games and a data collection activity.
Counting sea stars (3rd-5th grade)

Infection detection (3rd-6th grade)

Sea star fact sheets

Partnership programs

The Seattle Aquarium partners with several schools in the Puget Sound area. Our partner schools help us test pilot programs, get feedback on new ideas, and provide more in-depth programming that can be jointly delivered by Aquarium staff and classroom teachers.

Citizen Science is a partner program delivered in collaboration with Aquarium staff and high school teachers. Participating teachers are selected through an application process. If you're interested in participating, please contact us at education@seattleaquarium.org.

General information

Education e-newsletter

If you would like to sign up for our education e-newsletter to receive more information about programs for you and your students, let us know at education@seattleaquarium.org.

Contact us at education@seattleaquarium.org with questions.

Ocean literacy principles

The ocean is the defining feature of our planet. Ocean literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. There are seven principles of ocean literacy—ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean.