Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Field Trips at the Sea Center


Registration is now open for school field trips dates between February 1 and May 31.

About Sea Center Field Trips

We are delighted to offer a variety of options for Sea Center school field trips, designed for grades K–5. We offer experiential, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned school programs for elementary school classes. These dynamic, interactive programs all include:

  • A fun, interactive topic-driven program delivered outside on Stearns Wharf – right above the sea! 
  • A tour of the Sea Center’s first floor, through interpreter-led touch-tank and hands-on exhibits that highlight content covered in each grade-specific program.
  • An exclusive, interpreter-led scavenger hunt on the second floor of the Sea Center.

These programs get students up close and personal with local marine life and ecosystems inside our Sea Center, and on the wharf and beaches nearby. Students will learn about important science concepts through real-life interactions with the animals and their habitats with the guidance of our expert educators and Sea Center naturalists. Tour-only school program visits to the Sea Center are also available in 2023–2024.

Contact for more information.

Sea Cernter Field Trips Tide pool

Menu of Sea Center Field Trip Programs

Note: All field trips are aligned with specific NGSS grade-specific standards but can be adjusted to work for a range of grade levels.

Contact for details or to have a program adjusted for your class.

Students on Field Trip to the Sea Center


Trip to the Tide Pools!
NGSS: K-LS1-1, K-ESS3-1
Students learn what the basic needs of marine animals are, and what unique and resilient marine animals can commonly be found in our own local Intertidal zone, or tide pools. They make observations about how these spunky intertidal animals meet their needs in this ever-changing habitat.

First Grade

Powerful & Precious Pups of Shark Cove
NGSS: 1-LS1-2
Students learn about how some animal families keep their babies safe and sound in incredibly wild and wonderful ways. Students get to see up close how local Swell Shark and Horn Shark embryos are able to survive throughout the long months spent unhatched in their beautiful, strong egg cases. Students handle, observe, discover, and share the differences between real egg case specimens then learn about the effective parental behaviors exhibited by each species.

Second Grade

Marine Biodiversity: Stronger Together
NGSS: 2-LS4-1
Students learn about the amazing diversity of life between habitats and how biodiversity makes marine ecosystems both stronger and more resistant to outside threats. Each student has the opportunity to take the role of an organism in the sandy bottom habitat and discover firsthand what can happen when marine communities are disrupted by invasive species and instability occurs.

Third Grade

Birding by the Blue
NGSS: 3-LS4-3
Students become experts on the features of our local sandy coastal beach habitat and use their knowledge to make predictions as to whether or not specific bird species would be able to live here. Students “go birding” right from the pier, identifying and making inferences about birds’ homes and lifestyles based on what they see.

Fourth Grade

Sensing the Sea: Beyond the Five Human Senses
NGSS: 4-LS1-2
Students experience the incredible diversity of senses animals have in marine habitats. By examining actual specimens, they will learn about the electroreceptors of sharks, the movement-sensing whiskers of sea lions, and echolocation used by dolphins, and how these unique senses aid in the survival of these marine creatures. Students even get the chance to experience sound waves similarly to the way that dolphins do!

Fifth Grade

Bizarre Biology: Becoming a Bryozoan
NGSS: 5-PS1-1
Students will meet an amazing animal—or is it animals?—of the sea, the bryozoan. This beautiful creature lives in colonies where each tiny member has a necessary and unique job. Students will see firsthand how all living things are made up of smaller things, and that when these components work together, an incredible diversity of life is possible. Then students will “become” such an animal and get to experience the importance of each job as they work together to ensure the community thrives.

Tour-Only School Program Visits at the Sea Center

If you would prefer to bring your school groups to the Sea Center for a tour-only school program, we offer this option for groups of up to 60 students. Groups of 30 students or less will be hosted for a one-hour timeframe, and groups of more than 30 students will be hosted for a two-hour timeframe with staggered entry. For example, a group of 30 students will visit from 10:00–11:00 AM, while a group of 60 students will attend from 10:00 AM–Noon with half the group attending from 10:00–11:00 AM, and the other half of the class attending from 11:00 AM–Noon.

Your group will be greeted by our Sea Center school programs staff, and we will assist with the logistics of your group’s movement through our facility and, when necessary, the splitting of larger groups for staggered entry. If you are interested in a tour-only school program booking for more than 30 students, please contact the Sea Center School & Community Programs specialist directly at, or 805-962-2526 ext. 108.