Every time a child says, “look, Mom!” or a visitor sees an animal they’ve never seen before, education is happening. Every “Wow!” is a lesson. Our programs inspire children to learn and discover more about their world outside the classroom, and emphasize the ripple effect of humans on the ecosystem in which they live. The Aquarium has always included formal education programs as part of its mission, which target preschoolers, K-12 school children, college students, teachers and life-long learners. Whether onsite, online or outreach, the Aquarium’s annual impact is vast:
- 410,000 people visit, including 25,000 who come on special days that feature oceanic or animal-related topics such as World Oceans Day, Shark Week and Crab Fisheries Day.
- 11,000 field trip students participate in self-guided tours.
- 390 volunteers are trained in interpretation and ocean science, keeping the Aquarium open 364 days a year, and enhancing the visitor experience.
- 25,000 children on summer vacation learn to view microscopic organisms through the lens of a microscope in our Drifter Detectives program, or sharp teeth and rugged skin of a shark in the Passages Discovery Zone.
- 700 preschoolers attended free Aquatots program, engaging them at their level with the natural world.
- 3,000 children and adults spend the night in the tunnels of Passages of the Deep, taking behind the scenes tours.
- Our school outreach presents to 31,000 students and their teachers in 120 OR, ID, WA and CA schools. They introduce topics such as whales using life-size inflatables, recordings of whale songs, and real whale baleen and bones.
- We provide 400 educators and administrators with the resources and professional development necessary to provide high-quality, place-based learning instruction in natural resources content.
- 250 teachers attend our Coastal Learning Symposiums for in-depth training, marine science curriculum, and resources with ocean and environmental content.
- 50,000 teens and educators are virtual users of our Oceanscape Network distance learning program to explore Oregon and learn about native species. Oceanscape gives Aquarium youth volunteers an opportunity to gain experience in science communications as they produce digital exploration content.
- 2335 students and interns enroll in Aquarium lab activities, study ecosystems, and explore marine careers.
- 148,000 digital users follow our Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter each day. The Aquarium annually reaches more than 16 million people by sharing animal updates, ocean conservation tips, local citizen science events and more on social media.
Make a gift of any amount to enhance the aquarium’s education programs.