There are many ways for homeschooling families to learn at the HSMC Visitor Center. You can explore the Visitor Center's exhibits on your own, attend one of our public programs, arrange a private class for your homeschool group and/or attend our Homeschool Day events held in the fall and spring.

Marine Mammal Marvels

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019, 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM

Come explore marine habitats and their inhabitants, conduct experiments in our wet labs and learn about scientific techniques and current research. See below for program descriptions.

For this program, students are divided by grade levels — PK-1st, 2-4th, 5-7th, and 8-12th — and the cost is $30 per student. Pre-registration is required and will begin Monday, January 7, 2019. PK-1st grade students must be accompanied by an adult for the entire program.

*Please note, our credit card payment site shuts down on a monthly basis for updates. It will be unavailable January 16 and February 20. If you register on these dates, just select the "Mail a Check" payment option. You can then either mail a check or log in another day to pay by credit card.

Homeschool Day Classes

Waters without Otters – Discover what happened to the ecology of the Oregon coast when the sea otters disappeared. We’ll follow the food chain as we investigate live purple sea urchins and kelp.

Fur, Fat, and Flukes – Swimming in the ocean can be c-c-cold! Find out how blubber, fat, fur, and other attributes help marine mammals stay the right temperature as we experience and compare the effects of these adaptations.

Seeing with Sound – Toothed whales and dolphins use echolocation to navigate and locate prey. Join us as we investigate the science of sound waves. 

Seeing with Sound – Toothed whales and dolphins use echolocation to navigate and locate prey. Join us as we investigate the science of sound waves. 

Waters without Otters – Discover what happened to the ecology of the Oregon coast when the sea otters disappeared. We’ll follow the food chain as we investigate live purple sea urchins and kelp.

Fur, Fat, and Flukes – Swimming in the ocean can be c-c-cold! Find out how blubber, fat, fur, and other attributes help marine mammals stay the right temperature as we experience and compare the effects of these adaptations. 

Insulation Inquiry – Learn about how different structures and behaviors help marine mammals maintain proper body temperature. Students will make observations, generate predictions, design and conduct an experiment, and report findings.  

Assemble a Whale  Work together to assemble the skeleton of a 16-foot-long Cuvier’s beaked whale as we learn about the differences and similarities of toothed and baleen whales, using whale teeth, baleen, and other biofacts.  

Waters without Otters – Discover what happened to the ecology of the Oregon coast when the sea otters disappeared. We’ll follow the food chain as we investigate live purple sea urchins and kelp. 

Assemble a Whale – Work together to assemble the skeleton of a 16-foot-long Cuvier’s beaked whale as we learn about the differences and similarities of toothed and baleen whales using whale teeth, baleen, and other biofacts.  

A Sea of Data – Learn about the who, what, when, where and why of marine mammal research. Try your hand at mapping a variety of marine mammal sightings and discover what this important data can uncover for scientists! 

Sea Lion Tag Engineering – Learn how researchers are combining science and engineering to create tools needed to learn more about declining sea lion populations. Students will experience engineering trade-offs and limitations first-hand as they design their own prototype sea lion “tags.” 

Homeschool Event at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Sleep with the Sharks: FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2019

You, along with other Homeschool families, will have the Aquarium to yourself as you travel through our exhibits on a scavenger hunt, participate in hands-on, age-appropriate activities, and experience early morning behind-the-scenes at the Aquarium! After a fun-filled evening exploring life under the ocean, be lulled to sleep by the soothing sights of our Passages of the Deep tunnels. The sleepover includes a full dinner with vegetarian options, a late snack and a light continental breakfast.

Special Offer: Receive a $5 per person discount when you mention your registration for Hatfield's Home School Day! To register, call (541) 867-3474, Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. PST. For more information, visit Aquarium.org.

Homeschool Day Parent Feedback:

"The teachers are stellar, the experiments are fresh and new, and the curriculum appeals to all our family in different ways . . . Thank you for a high quality experience. We will be back again for sure!"

"The teachers were knowledgeable, organized, focused and made the learning fun. It was an excellent day! I would definitely recommend this to other home school families!"