Shoreside Program - Grades pre-K and up


Shoreside Option

Students from Kindergarten on up love this 2-3 hour, hands-on program that takes place on our oyster shell beach, pier, and in the fully equipped Discovery Lab. The Shoreside Program offers a variety of "discovery-based" activities that are guaranteed to excite young students and challenge older ones.


A basic program includes two to four stations from a choice of six: fish, benthic invertebrates, plankton, hydrology, sharks, and marine mammals. Students will use real oceanographic equipment during their stations to take a "mud grab" and find the invertebrates that live at the bottom of the bay, use a large beach net or "seine" to collect fish for examination or use a Van Dorn Bottle to collect samples of water to test. All programs close with an activity that examines our human connection with this important estuary.


Beach Seine (included with a Fish station):  The class will divide into their small groups to deploy a 50-foot net (beach seine) from our pier and pull it across to our oyster shell beach.  A variety of Bay fish will be caught and students will see first hand the life that is below the surface of our Bay. (This activity is not a station option, but is included with the Bay Fish Station).


Bay  Fish  Station:  Students will bring their catch into the Discovery Classroom and place the fish into a touch tank for closer observation.  The group then breaks into smaller work groups to closely observe, study, and touch the fish.


Benthic Station (or Bay Invertebrates):  Students deploy a mud grab (Peterson Grab) to gather a benthic (sediment) sample.  The students then have an opportunity to touch the “bottom” of the Bay and look through the sample for organisms.  The sediment is then washed away, and the invertebrates are collected and placed into buckets for closer observation.



Plankton Station:  Students deploy a plankton net to gather a concentrated sample of plankton from our dock.  The students will then take the sample to our plankton lab where they will discuss what types of organisms plankton are and how important plankton is to the food web in the San Francisco Bay. 


Hydrology (Water Chemistry) Station:  Students deploy a Van Dorn bottle in order to collect samples of Bay water.  The instructor leads the group in a discussion of how variables of water chemistry can change over the course of a year and how this might affect the organisms that live in the Bay.



Shark Station:  Students will take a closer look at this one type of cartilaginous fish that lives in the San Francisco Bay.  The students will then be able to observe the sharks that live in our shark tank and touch a live shark under the supervision of our instructors.


Marine Mammal Station:  Students will explore the marine mammals that might frequent the San Francisco Bay.  Through games, hands-on activities and artifacts (including a 45-foot grey whale skeleton) students will learn how marine mammals are quite different from mammals that live on land.




Pre-K Shoreside Option


    Preschool children have a ton of fun getting to know the animals of the San Francisco Bay during this 2-hour, hands-on program. The program takes place at our beachfront site on Redwood Creek. It offers a great way to let young students discover the ecology of the San Francisco Bay.

     The program includes four stations: fish, mud, invertebrates, and craft/game. Children will have an opportunity to touch real live fish, crabs, snails, mussels, and many other animals. They will also get their hands in the mud on a quest for what lives at the bottom of the Bay. A fun marine craft and/or game rounds out the experience. A short time is also available for snack (provided by the booking party).



K and Up Shoreside Pricing:

Two Station Program -- 2 Hours
Up to 30 students-- 2 instructors -- $305*

Three Station Program -- 2.5 Hours
Up to 30 students-- 2 instructors -- $330*
31 to 45 students -- 3 instructors -- $420*

Four Station Program -- 3 Hours
Up to 30 students -- 2 instructors -- $350*
31 to 45 students -- 3 instructors -- $450*
46 to 60 students -- 4 instructors -- $550*



Pre-K Shoreside Pricing:

Four Station Program -- 2 Hours
Up to 20 students-- 2 instructors -- $295*
Up to 30 students-- 3 instructors -- $370*
Up to 40 students-- 4 instructors -- $460*






*Sliding scale available depending on need


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Questions and booking information

Contact Jodi Stewart

School Programs Coordinator