Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Exploration Center  

Exploration Center Tours

    The Exploration Center is a hands-on learning lab. Visitors are given the opportunity to use microscopes, dress in costumes of marine researchers or animals, travel through a worm's eye view of the mud, make watershed decisions, zonation, breakwater life and more. 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 as students do hands-on investigation.
  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: Guided by our staff, students discover ocean animals, including where and how they live and investigate how the water cycle affects ocean survival.

Grade 1: Students are led by staff in conducting simple experiments and observations while learning about animal adaptations including strategies for feeding.

Grade 2: Facilitated by our staff, students learn about the rock cycle from fossils to sand, find different animal life cycles and develop their observation skills.

Seashore Naturalists: Grades 3 - 5
Grade 3: Working in small teams and guided by a passport, students discover how adaptations affect animal survival in different seashore habitats, they investigate life cycles and learn about the movement of energy.

Grade 4: Students investigate the flow of energy through the food web including photosynthesis and decompostion. Through hands-on exploration, they determine the living and non-living components of seashore ecosystems. Students experiment with the rock cycle and the role of wind, water and waves in the watershed.

Grade 5: Students delve into the structures that animals along the shore use for respiration, digestion, waste disposal and movement. They determine their impact on the watershed through basic water testing and even write their own weather report.

Sea Scholars: Grades 6 - 8
Grades 6-8: Applying science skills, students conduct experiments and investigate earth, life and physical science concepts at their grade level including ecology, evolution, density, bouyancy and more.

Ocean Stewards: Grades 9 - 12
Grades 9-12: Using previous exposure in science to work, students explore ecology, evolution, climate, oceanography and other facets of marine science. This workshop pairs well with a field investigation in the Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park.