During the "Creatures of the Kelp" class, students explore kelp forest animals.

Aquarium Classes

Find the perfect program for your students with these 30-minute, 60-minute and 75-minute classes. Select your grade level and appropriate topics. Registration is now open for the 2016-2017 school year.

Discovery Labs offer students an opportunity to meet live animals and use scientific investigation to discover the wonders of the ocean and the world around them. Discovery Labs are taught in our classrooms from September 26, 2016, to June 9, 2017. Fee includes aquarium admission.

Discovery Lab Timeslots:
9:30-10:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.-12 p.m.
12:30-1:30p.m.

2016-2017 Fees:
Ages 3-5  Sept.-Feb. $8.50/student  March-June $10/student
K-12  Sept.-Feb. $9.50/student  March-June $11/student

A teacher and parent chaperones are admitted free for the purpose of supervising students. The chaperone to student ratio is 1:5 for K-12 and 1:2 for Ages 3-5 classes. Extra chaperones are $15.50.

Next Generation Science Standards Alignment

Birch Aquarium is aligning our education programs with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS alignment is listed under the description of each class.

AGES 3-5

Discovery Labs: Age 3-5

Ages 3-5 programs are 30 minutes each and booked as double programs within an hour's schedule.
Student min/max: 10 students minimum, 16 students maximum
Program Duration: Two 30-minute lessons
Chaperone Ratio: One Chaperone per two students (1:2)

Sea Stories
Recommended Grade: Ages 3-4
A children's story about hermit crabs comes alive with puppets and interactive play, with a visit from live hermit crabs and other shelled ocean animals. Live animal interaction included.
Science Concepts: Properties and Characteristics of Living Things, Observation and Investigation » Register Online

Meet and Greet the Sea
Recommended Grade: Ages 4-5
Learn how different sea creatures move and survive in the tide pools through puppet demonstrations, role play, and live animal interactions. Live animal interaction included.
Science Concepts: Properties and Characteristics of Living Things, Observation and Investigation
» Register Online

GRADES K-2

Discovery Labs: Grades K-2

Student min/max: 20 students minimum, 25 students maximum
Program Duration: 60-minute lesson
Chaperone Ratio: One chaperone per five students (1:5)

Colossal Kelp

Recommended Grade: Grade K, Grade 1
Dive into the wonderful world of kelp as students learn about the kelp bed habitat and meet amazing critters that call this underwater forest habitat home. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, ESS3.A: Natural Resources CCC: Structure and Function, Patterns, Systems SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations » Register Online

Fascinating Fish

Recommended Grade: Grade 1
What makes a fish a fish? Through dress-up and exploration of real fish, students will investigate the unique characteristics of fishes. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: LS1.A: structure and Function, LS1.D: Information Processing CCC: Structure and Function, Patterns, Systems SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations » Register Online

Tide Pool Treasures
Recommended Grades: Grade K-1*
Students explore the world of tide pools and learn how these creatures find food, protect themselves, and move about in these dynamic habitat. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, ESS3.A: Natural resources CCC: Structure and Function, Patterns, Cause and Effect, Systems SEP: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Engaging in Argument from Evidence » Register Online

Sandy Shores
Grade 2 only
Students examine sand samples from all over the world, observe animals that live in sandy habitats, and investigate how these animals find food and shelter in their environment. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans, ESS1.C: The History of the Planet Earth ESSA: Earth Materials and Systems CCC: Structure and Function; Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion, and Quantity; Stability and Change; Systems SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations
» Register Online

GRADES 3-5

Discovery Labs (60 minutes)

Student min/max: 20 students minimum, 36 students maximum
Program Duration: 60-minute lesson
Chaperone Ratio: One chaperone per five students (1:5)

Fish Diversity
Recommended Grades: Grades 3-4*
Through hands-on exploration of biofacts and specimens, students will develop an understanding of the roles that adaptations in body shape, coloration, and teeth play in enabling fish to survive in diverse habitats.
NGSS: Gr. 3 DCI: LS4.C: Adaptation CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect SEP: Construct Explanations, Engage in arguments from Evidence Gr. 4 DCI: LS1.A: Structure and Function CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Structure and Function SEP: constructing Explanations, Engage in Arguments from Evidence
» Register Online

Creatures of the Kelp
 Recommended Grades: Grades 3-5
Discover the largest and fastest growing algae in the sea and learn about its importance to marine organisms and humans through explorations with live animals, food webs, and the types of algae found in foods we eat. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr.3) LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms, (Gr.4) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr.5) LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms CCC: Energy and Matter, Systems and System Models SEP: Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data
» Register Online

Can You Dig It?
Recommended Grades: Grades 3-4
Students become marine paleontologists as they test the properties of different rocks, compare fossil samples to present-day marine animals, and uncover fossils. Interaction with live animal and animal specimen included.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr.3) ESS1.C: the History of Planet Earth, (Gr.4) LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity, CCC: Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion, and Quantity SEP: Analyzing and Interpreting Data
» Register Online

Sensational Sharks

Recommended Grades: Grades 3-5
Explore the 6 senses that make sharks one of the most unique and fascinating fish in our oceans. Compare sharks and bony fish and discover the adaptations that have helped these amazing animals thrive in the oceans for more than 400 million years. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr.3) LS4.B: Natural Selection, (Gr.4) LS1.D: Information Processing, (Gr.5) ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems CCC: Cause and Effect SEP: Obtaining, Collecting and Communicating Information
» Register Online

Fish Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 4-5*
Examine fish inside and out! Through external examination and internal dissection of Pacific mackerel, students will discover the structures that help a fish to swim, eat, and protect itself in the open ocean habitat. Includes interaction with mackerel specimen.
NGSS: Gr. 4 DCI: LS1.A: Structure and Function CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Structure and Function SEP: Constructing Explanations, Engaging in Argument from Evidence Gr.5: DCI: LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems LS2.B Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems CCC: Systems, Cause and Effect, Energy and Matter, Structure and Function SEP: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Engaging in Argument from Evidence
» Register Online
 

Squid Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 4-5*
Through scientific observations and dissection, students discover the unique structures that squid have to survive in an open ocean habitat. Interaction with squid specimen.
NGSS: Gr.4 DCI: LS1.A: Structure and Function CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Structure and Function SEP: Constructing Explanations, Engaging in Argument from Evidence Gr.5 DCI: LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems CCC: Systems, Structure and Function SEP: Constructing Explanations, Engaging in Argument from Evidence
» Register Online


 

GRADES 6-8

Discovery Labs (60 minutes)

Student min/max: 20 students minimum, 36 students maximum
Program Duration: 60-minute lesson
Chaperone Ratio: One chaperone per five students (1:5)

Earth Rocks!
Recommended Grades: Grades 6-8
And it rolls! Through a combination of hands-on activities and cutting-edge technology, students will explore the nature of earthquakes, how scientists pinpoint an earthquake's epicenter, and how engineers design earthquake-proof structures.
NGSS: DCI ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions, ESS3.B: Natural Hazards, ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions CCC: Patterns, Stability and change SEP: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
» Register Online

Fish Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 6*, 7, 9-12
As scientists, students use the Pacific mackerel as their model subject to explore defining fish characteristics and the crucial adaptive anatomy and physiology that allow fish to survive in a marine environment. Includes interaction with mackerel specimen.
NGSS: DCI (G. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, Cause and Effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
» Register Online

Squid Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 6*, 7, 9-12
Students dissect a Common Market Squid in order to explore both external and internal anatomy, while discovering the structural and behavioral adaptations that enable squid to live in the open ocean environment. Includes interaction with squid specimen.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, Cause and Effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence.
» Register Online

Mussel Clump Diversity
Recommended Grades: Grades 7*, 9-12
Discover the rich biodiversity of animals that make thir home in the mussel clumps of the rocky shore. By taking apart a mussel clump, students learn about how these animals are classified on their unique characteristics and how they depend on one another for survival. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI (Gr. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, cause and effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
» Register Online

Sharks in the Spotlight
Recommended Grades: Grades 6-8
Why do Leopard Sharks gather off the beach in La Jolla? Students become shark scientists as they replicate actual shark research conducted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers, as well as examine biofacts and touch a live shark. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI: LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms CCC: Structure and Function, Systems and System Models SEP: Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information
» Register Online

Energy Challenge
Recommended Grades: Grade 6*, 8*, and 9-12*
Examine the use of natural resources for energy, and the environmental impacts of human activities. Students become the scientists and engineers, investigating alternative energy sources and designing solutions for the increased needs of a growing world.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr.6) ESS3.D: Global Climate Change, (Gr. 8, 9-12) ESS3.C: Human impacts on Earth Systems, (Gr. 6, 8, 9-12) ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem, (Gr. 6, 8) ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions, (Gr. 6, 8, 9-12) ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution CCC: Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World; Energy and Matter SEP: Asking questions and Defining Problems, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
» Register Online

20 students min./36 students max.
One chaperone required per five students.


 

GRADES 9-12

Discovery Labs (60 minutes)

Fish Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 6*, 7, 9-12
As scientists, students use the Pacific mackerel as their model subject to explore defining fish characteristics and the crucial adaptive anatomy and physiology that allow fish to survive in a marine environment. Includes interaction with mackerel specimen.
NGSS: DCI (G. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, Cause and Effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
 » Register Online

Squid Dissection
Recommended Grades: Grades 6*, 7, 9-12
Students dissect a Common Market Squid in order to explore both external and internal anatomy, while discovering the structural and behavioral adaptations that enable squid to live in the open ocean environment. Includes interaction with squid specimen.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, Cause and Effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence.
» Register Online

Mussel Clump Diversity
  Recommended Grades: Grades 7*, 9-12
Discover the rich biodiversity of animals that make thir home in the mussel clumps of the rocky shore. By taking apart a mussel clump, students learn about how these animals are classified on their unique characteristics and how they depend on one another for survival. Live animal interaction included.
NGSS: DCI (Gr. 6, 9-12) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr. 7) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems CCC: Structure and Function, Systems, cause and effect SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
» Register Online

Energy Challenge
Recommended Grades: Grade 6*, 8*, and 9-12*
Examine the use of natural resources for energy, and the environmental impacts of human activities. Students become the scientists and engineers, investigating alternative energy sources and designing solutions for the increased needs of a growing world.
NGSS: DCI: (Gr.6) ESS3.D: Global Climate Change, (Gr. 8, 9-12) ESS3.C: Human impacts on Earth Systems, (Gr. 6, 8, 9-12) ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting an Engineering Problem, (Gr. 6, 8) ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions, (Gr. 6, 8, 9-12) ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution CCC: Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World; Energy and Matter SEP: Asking questions and Defining Problems, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
 » Register Online

20 students min./36 students max.
One chaperone required per five students.