Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Exploration Center  

Exploration Center Tours

    Challenge you students to investigate science concepts along the seashore using the tools of a naturalist. During our 90-minute program, your students will be engaged in hands-on investigation of our local habitats and marine organisms both in the Exploration Center and outside!

Each of these programs includes an excursion, led by CMA’s Education Team, to explore one of the diverse Coastal Park destinations such as our California native plant garden, salt marsh, floating dock, or the sandy beach.

Students learn about the challenges facing life along the shore and our role in its conservation. During their visit, students explore and answer questions integrating physical, life, and earth sciences. Each program is designed to address grade-level standards and promote inquiry-based learning.
  Reservations are required. Call 310-548-7562, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm.

Download our Reservation Form.

Want your kids to take home some souvenirs but don't want to hassle going to the Gift Shop? Pre-order Aquarium treasure bags before your field trip with this handy Treasure Bag order form. Treasure bags are economical and convenient and will be ready for pick up on the day of your field trip.
Have a question? Please call 310-548-7562 or send us an email.

School Programs

Marine Explorers: Grades PreK - 2
Pre-K - K: Students will use their senses to examine real live kelp and the sea animals that need it to survive. Later, we venture to our inner beach to find out why animals and algae live where they do!

Grade 1: Using real specimens, students will investigate how an animal’s body and behavior can help it survive and grow      in the ocean. Then, we take a journey to the Salinas de San Pedro, our local salt marsh, to find it in action!

Grade 2: Students will have a chance to compare the diversity of life found on the sandy beach and rocky shore. Then, we take a trip to the outer Cabrillo Beach to examine the processes that have helped to form this shore!

Seashore Naturalists: Grades 3 - 5
Grade 3: Students will discuss adaptations as they examine live sea animals and reflect on what past, present, and future environments mean for survival. Then, we will go on a beach scavenger hunt!

Grade 4: Students will examine the transfer of energy throughout the marine food web and what weathering and erosion mean for life on the shore. Then, students will engineer and test their own watersheds designs on the beach!

Grade 5: Students will explore how matter and energy cycle through the marine ecosystem. Then we’ll take a walk down the watershed examining storm drains, native plants, the salt marsh and more!

Sea Scholars: Grades 6 - 8
Grades 6-8: Students discuss and test the concept of buoyancy as it relates to the ocean by engineering their own plankton models. Outside students will have a chance to investigate topics from beach ecology to human impacts.

Ocean Stewards: Grades 9 - 12
Grades 9-12: Please contact us to create a custom program that suits the needs of your students.