Enhanced Education Programming
The Oregon Coast Aquarium educates learners of all ages and abilities both on and off-grounds. Educational standards and methods have evolved significantly since we opened in 1992. The Aquarium must evolve to ensure it engages students with differing learning abilities deeply, imaginatively and meaningfully.
The Aquarium’s Education Department continues to update multi-sensory curriculum to align with state and national education standards, as well as national ocean literacy principles. Playing a significant role in both scientific inquiry and exploration through on-site, online and outreach education, the Aquarium intends to analyze and enhance the following programs:
Aquatots Early Education: Multi-sensory, age-appropriate, interactive, educational stations are facilitated by certified educators to engage children ages 3-5 to explore the wonders of the sea.
School Outreach Program: Outreach takes the Aquarium and marine science to low-income rural elementary schools and home-school communities in five states, where distance and limited budgets preclude field trips. Outreach programs are assembly-style productions full of energy and fun. These presentations feature audience participation, costumes, animal biofacts (bones, fur, baleen, etc.) and life-sized inflatable animals.
On-site Education Programs: Whether bringing your family for a visit or scheduling a field trip for your school, our on-site programs are learning opportunities for all ages. Shake arms with a giant Pacific octopus or Sleep in the Deep without getting wet. We offer grade-appropriate programs aligned to state and national standards as well as to the national Ocean Literacy principles, and Aquarium educators are available for school field trips, teaching K-12 lab programs and more.
Volunteer Programs: A legion of volunteer interpreters, divers, educators and animal curators make ocean literacy fun and lower the cost of operations. Partnering with various agencies, youth volunteers participate in education and conservation projects.
Oceanscape Network: A web-based distance-learning program designed to connect preteens, teens and homeschool students to science, nature and outdoor experiences using technology as the catalyst. Students and teachers navigate a plethora of resources including videos, links to content and blogs, virtual field exploration, grade-specific curriculum, suggested activities and ocean literacy guides.
Teacher Professional Development Programs: Our teacher professional development programs provide opportunities for informal and formal educators to learn about implementing marine science into their curriculum. Programs include the annual Coastal Learning Conference and the Solutions that Soar Teacher Institute, a new year-long program for Oregon’s teachers that culminates in a field research project in Hawaii.
The James & Marion Miller, Ford Family, James & Shirley Rippey, Reser Family and Oregon Community Foundations, along with First Interstate Bank and hundreds of donors have invested in the Aquarium’s effort to enhance education programs to ensure they:
- Make information about species, environment and conservation more accessible to varied audiences
- Create memorable learning experiences
- Increase ocean literacy and knowledge of local natural resources
- Inspire participants to seek out more information about ocean science
- Instill a value the ocean and marine life, and incorporate conservation efforts into their own lives
- Create opportunities for young people to explore marine science careers
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