Book an Aquarium Express Outreach

Aquarium Express Outreach: 2021-2022

The Aquarium Express van can travel to your school, bringing with it the wonders of the ocean, Earth, and atmosphere. Students will experience a variety of hands-on programs, all in the comfort of their own classrooms.

Classes by Grade

Aquarium Express Outreach programs are booked for the remainder of the school year. Please check back in August for opportunities in the 2022-2023 school year!

 Grades K-2   Grades 3-5   Grades 6-8   Grades 9-12

All Birch Aquarium classes are Next Generation Science Standard aligned.


Pricing

Price

Program Cost: $225/session

Program Minimum and Maximum

Program min/max: 2 sessions, 4 sessions

To ensure the best use of our resources, we require booking at least two (2) program sessions per outreach day. Up to four (4) program sessions may be booked per day, depending on distance and length of day. Some program titles are able to be combined to serve multiple grades per day, with up to two (2) different titles per day.

Program Travel Distance Requirements

We are unable to provide programs that involve transportation of live animals outside of a 30-mile radius. The following programs can travel outside of 30 miles:

  • Fascinating Fish
  • Fish Diversity
  • Fish or Squid Dissection
Extra Mileage Fee

Outreach costs include travel to school sites within a 30-mile radius of Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Schools located more than a 30-mile radius of Birch Aquarium will be charged an extra mileage fee of $2.50/mile for every additional mile of roundtrip travel.

Policy

Teacher & Room Policy

Programs involve many materials and sometimes include live animals. To reduce set up time and stress on the animals, one (1) consistent space/classroom is required for all sessions. Instructors cannot go classroom to classroom.

At least one (1) supervisory teacher must be present during the entire outreach program. Parent volunteers are encouraged to help.

Outreach Program Schedule Needs

We can work with your school's bell schedule to design a program schedule that meets our instructing needs and yours! In general, we ask for the following:

  • We ask for a minimum of 15 minutes between multiple sessions for our instructors to reset the materials and maintain live organisms.
  • A minimum of 30 minutes is needed to reset materials when switching between two (2) different program topics.
  • When booking 3-4 sessions per visit, we require a 30-minute lunch break for our instructing staff (in addition to 15 minutes for reset).

Registration & Cancellation Policy

Registration

Programs are available weekdays October 4, 2021-June 3, 2022, between the hours of 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Reservations are required four (4) weeks in advance and are on a first-come, first-served basis. We recommend that you register as soon as possible to ensure a visit on the date of your choice. 

Aquarium Express Outreach programs are booked for the remainder of the school year. Please check back in August for opportunities in the 2022-2023 school year!

Cancellation Policy

Email birchaquariumprogram@ucsd.edu at least 4 weeks in advance of your program date to cancel your reservation. Please keep in mind that your programs will not officially be canceled until your email has been reviewed by someone in the office.

In order to receive a full refund, you must cancel your order at least 4 weeks prior to the date of your programs. Anything canceled less than 4 weeks before your programs will have a fee of $50 per program. No refunds are provided within 48 hours of your program date and you will be responsible for full payment.


Classes by Grade

Aquarium Express Outreach classes are available weekdays October 4, 2021-June 3, 2022, between the hours of 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

Grades K-2

Explore the wondrous ocean habitats of the Kelp Forest, Sandy Shores and Tide Pools. Students in the early elementary grades put their observation skills to use to understand patterns of how different animals survive in these unique habitats. 

Student min/max: 20 students minimum, 25 students maximum
Program Duration: 60-minute lesson

Colossal Kelp (Grades K, 1)

Dive into the wonderful world of kelp as students learn about the kelp bed habitat and meet the amazing critters that call this underwater forest habitat home. 
NGSS Alignment: 

  • DCI: LS1.C: Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, ESS3.A: Natural Resources
  • CCC: Structure and Function, Patterns, Systems 
  • SEP: Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations
Tide Pool Treasures (Grades K, 1)

Students explore the world of tide pools and learn how tide pool creatures find food, protect themselves, and move about in these dynamic habitats.
NGSS Alignment: 

  • DCI: LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, ESS3.A: Natural Resources 
  • CCC: Structure and Function, Patterns, Systems 
  • SEP: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Argument from Evidence 
Fascinating Fish (Grade 1)

What makes a fish a fish? Through dress-up and exploration of real fish, students will investigate the unique characteristics of fishes. 
NGSS Alignment: 

  • DCI: LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • CCC: Patterns, Systems
  • SEP: Constructing Explanations
Sandy Shores (Grade 2)

How does water affect the sandy shore habitat? Students explore what sand is made of, how it is created, and the animals that live in the sand.
NGSS Alignment: 

  • DCI: LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans, ESS2.A: Earth Materials
  • CCC: Cause and Effect, Stability and Change 
  • SEP: Argument from Evidence, Constructing Explanations

Aquarium Express Outreach programs are booked for the remainder of the school year. Please check back in August for opportunities in the 2022-2023 school year!


Grades 3-5

Let your students get their hands on an understanding of structure and function with our Dissection Discovery Labs, or learn how we are connected to and impact the creatures of the ocean.

Student min/max: 20 students minimum, 36 students maximum
Program Duration: 60-minute lesson

Fish Diversity (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 Alignment:

  • DCI: (Gr. 3) LS4.C: Adaptation, (Gr. 4) LS1.A: Structure and Function 
  • CCC: Patterns, Cause and Effect 
  • SEP: Constructing Explanations, Argument from Evidence 
Creatures of the Kelp (Grades 3, 5)

Discover an underwater forest and its importance to marine organisms. How can changes in the environment affect this ecosystem?
NGSS Alignment:

  • DCI: (Gr. 3) LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience, (Gr. 4) LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience, (Gr. 5) LS1.C: Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
  • CCC: Systems and System Models
  • SEP: Developing Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Fish or Squid Dissection (Grades 4, 5)

Examine fish or squid inside and out through dissection of the animal. Grade 4 students will discover the structures that help the animal to swim, eat, and protect itself in the open ocean habitat. Grade 5 students will explore the role of the animal in the food chain based on their body structures and functions.
NGSS Alignment:

  • DCI: (Gr. 4) LS1.A: Structure and Function, (Gr. 5) LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, LS2.B: Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems 
  • CCC: Systems, Structure and Function 
  • SEP: Constructing Explanations, Argument from Evidence

Aquarium Express Outreach programs are booked for the remainder of the school year. Please check back in August for opportunities in the 2022-2023 school year!


Grades 6-7 and 9-12

Let your students become scientists through a dissection, learning about structure and function through an organism or systems approach. 

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

Fish or Squid Dissection (Grades 6, 7 and 9-12)

As scientists, students use the mackerel or squid as their model subject. Grade 6 students will identify animal structures and their functions, as well as determine the system to which they belong. Grade 7 will explore how the adaptations of the animal help them avoid predation and compete for resources within their ecosystem. Grades 9-12 students deepen the exploration of animal structures and their functions to discuss how the interactions of their systems help the animal survive.
NGSS Alignment: 

  • 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: Constructing Explanations, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
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Aquarium Express Outreach programs are booked for the remainder of the school year. Please check back in August for opportunities in the 2022-2023 school year!


Thank you to our Education Donors! With their continued support, Birch Aquarium is able to promote ocean literacy in the classroom and in the field.