SEA Discovery Center Field Trips

Our staff at the SEA Discovery Center provide high-quality, hands-on field trip curriculum for groups. We offer various marine life programs for Early Childhood and Elementary aged groups. You can choose from our existing themes or work with us to customize for your group.

 

Preschool to Grade 2

SEA Discovery CenterWe welcome preschool through second-grade classes to sign up for one of our Early Childhood Education Programs. You can choose the program and we can find a date and time that works for you as well as the center. We will do our best to accommodate your preferred date. Please print, scan, and email your completed Program Application at least a week in advance to Lauren Kemper at Lauren.Kemper@wwu.edu. If you fill out your application online, please use either Safari or Firefox, as otherwise your information will not be sent.

Classes offered:

Terrific Tools.

Humans use a variety of tools to do work—but how do the animals in the ocean catch their food, keep safe, or move around? Students will discover how various marine animal body parts resemble tools that humans use. By comparing these animals’ adaptations with human tools, students will learn how the animals use their body parts in their ocean environment, particularly in obtaining food.
Suggested grade level: preschool-2nd grade.

Magnificent Mollusks

What does a clam, a moon snail, a squid and an octopus all have in common? They are all mollusks! The phylum Mollusca includes bivalves, gastropods, and cephalopods. Students will learn the basics of classification, and how we classify these diverse creatures, both by what they have in common and by their differences. Special attention will be given to the most intelligent mollusk of all—the octopus.
Suggested grade level: preschool-2nd grade.

Curious About Crabs?

In this class, we will introduce a group of animals called arthropods–with a focus on a subgroup, crustaceans. What marine animals are crustaceans? What do they look like, what do they do, and how do they do it? This lesson will include hands-on exploration of live crabs, as well as learning about the diversity of crustaceans in our local marine habitats.
Suggested grade level: preschool-2nd grade.

A Home for Herman—Hermit Crabs and Hard Coverings.

How do animals in the ocean stay safe? Explore how some marine animals use hard coverings for protection. Children will learn how some animals grow their protective coverings, while others have to find them. Through a hands-on learning experience and a story, children will discover how the hermit crab finds its shell.
Suggested grade level: preschool-Kindergarten.

Echinoderms—Spines, Bumps and Tube Feet, Oh My!

What makes an animal an echinoderm? What is an echinoderm? Children will discover the features common to all echinoderms, as well as what makes each type unique. The students will be able to use props to learn identifying characteristics of sea stars, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers.
Suggested grade level: preschool-2nd grade.

 

Grades 5-8

Starfish on rocksOur field trips provide the space for students to participant in unique hands-on discovery of marine life. We provide two scheduled classes per day. One utilizes SEA’s Discovery Lab where students can dive into learning about aquaria and marine life. While the other class participates in “over-the-water” science exploring sea life in the Center’s Floating Lab on Liberty Bay.  The classes exchange places following lunch; therefore, giving the students to ability to experience both sets of curriculum.

If you are interested in learning more about bringing your classroom to the SEA Discovery Center for this unique hands-on curriculum, please contact:

Bruce Claiborne
SEA Discovery Center Education Director
bruce.claiborne@wwu.edu

Information for schools:

Participation:

This unique field experience is designed to accommodate two classes at a time.  Multi-age classes containing students younger than grade 3 are asked to make alternative arrangements in their building for the day for underage students. Please note: Grade 3 students only participate in the spring.

Schedule:

Classes meet on-site a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes. The start time can be flexible accounting for district schedules.  For example, classes might arrive at 9:45 a.m. and depart at 2 p.m.  It is essential that the groups arrive at the SEA Discovery Center at their designated time.

Upon arrival students will be greeted by staff and there will be a short restroom break before proceeding to the Discovery Lab or to the Floating Lab.  Both Discovery Lab and Floating Lab experiences are specific to each grade level.

Note: If your school is an early or late school, please call… we can adjust the four-hour-15 minute window needed for the program.

Transportation:

Buses are to be arranged by the district point of contact (POC) and the teachers of the participating school district.

Student Drop Off/Pick Up Directions:

The bus may drive through the parking lot and stop briefly to drop off students.  If the bus is not returning to the bus barn, it will need to park off-site in a public space such as the Central Market parking lot located on Hwy 305 until students are ready for pick up.  At exactly 2 p.m. or the designated time, students will be ready to depart.  The bus should repeat its course through the parking lot and stop briefly to safely load students.

Cost:

No entry fee for guests to the Center, or fee charged for your participation in the program. However, donations are always appreciated.

Volunteers (Essential Information):

Each class will need to bring four parent/adult volunteers.  Teachers should recruit one parent who will stay in the Discovery Lab for the day and three parents who will stay at the Floating Lab for the day.

A certificated teacher must stay with each group at all times.  Extra parents are welcome and may assist the Center’s educator in the classroom and help during lunchtime.  The Floating Lab is a field experience and as such is designed as a high quality learning experience for the students based upon the volunteers’ participation throughout the day.  Time has not been built into the very tight schedule to retrain a new group of parents on the lab equipment.