Price Philanthropies Ocean Science Education Fund

Bringing Ocean Science to San Diego's Students

From the moment Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography opened its doors, hands-on science education has been an important part of how we serve our community. 

In February 2015, Price Philanthropies, led by Robert and Allison Price, joined supporters of Birch Aquarium’s education programs by creating the Price Philanthropies Ocean Science Education Fund, dedicated to providing hands-on ocean science education to underserved students in our community. To fully and permanently sustain education programs, Birch Aquarium must build an endowment of at least $8.3 million. Thanks to a generous gift of $6 million from Price Philanthropies combined with other generous donations, we are well on our way.

With these resources, Birch Aquarium at Scripps will:

  • Implement a sixth grade “Beach Science” program, bringing students from underserved communities to the beach to learn—some of whom have lived in San Diego their whole lives and have never been to the ocean.

  • Increase access to ocean science education by delivering our Aquarium Express Outreach programs directly to the schools in our community that need it the most. 

Birch Aquarium education programs engage students through direct experience with marine life and immersion in scientific problem solving. The wonder and curiosity inspired by these activities resonate far beyond the scope of each lesson or module.  

About the Beach Science Program

In fall 2015, Birch Aquarium started to deliver a 3-part experiential, multi-day science program to sixth grade students in underserved communities. This Next Generation Science Standards-aligned program connects teacher-led curriculum with classroom activities led by Birch instructors as well as a full day of science investigation at Birch Aquarium and Scripps Pier, steps away from the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  While on the full-day field trip, students also interact with a volunteer Scripps scientist who introduces students to current ocean science research and pathways into STEM careers. We currently serve 13 schools in San Diego County with this innovative program.


About the Aquarium Express Outreach Program


Birch Aquarium’s Outreach Education Programs deliver programs to schools throughout San Diego County. This program serves schools in areas of the county that may not be able to travel to Birch Aquarium due to the distance or expense involved. In the 2022-23 school year, we are focusing our Price Philanthropies-funded Aquarium Express Outreach on City Heights elementary schools in the Crawford, Hoover, Lincoln, Morse, and San Diego clusters. The following San Diego Unified School District elementary schools are eligible for fully funded outreaches through the Price Philanthropies Ocean Science Education Fund:

To apply, please visit our Financial Aid page.

To contribute to this endowment or to learn more, please contact Raquel Benguiat at or 858-534-2999. 

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