There are many ways for homeschooling families to learn at the Hatfield 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 attend Homeschool Day events in the fall and spring.

Fall 2021 Virtual Family Homeschool Programming

Registration CLOSED!

Oregon Sea Grant’s Fall Family Homeschool Day is going virtual for the second year in a row! We will be offering a variety of age-specific programs via the Zoom meeting platform for you and your family to enjoy. To maintain our traditional Fall Family Homeschool Day theme, we kindly ask that you determine the program (listed below) that works best for your family’s age-range and register for one program as a family unit. Please note that we anticipate younger children needing help with some of the hands-on virtual activities. Space is limited for each program - so be sure to register soon to ensure you get your 1st choice of programming.


Virtual Program Logistics:


  • Two-hour virtual session via Zoom (with access to video and audio) where educators engage families in hands-on marine science activities. To keep with our traditional fall family-focused homeschool day theme, parents/guardians will take classes with their children.
  • Families will be mailed a “homeschool day in a package” prior to the virtual session. The package will include all materials needed to participate in virtual activities and additional activities for families to do together on their own time. 
  • Important Note: Families will receive the Zoom meeting link separately one week prior to the event. All homeschool programming kits will be shipped via priority mail 1.5 weeks prior to the virtual event.

Cost: $25 per person (adults and children)

  • Cost includes staff time and shipment of all “homeschool day in a package” materials necessary to engage in all activities.
  • All participants (adults and children) will receive their own set of materials.


  • During registration, please register an adult/guardian first (who will serve as the primary adult). You will have the opportunity to add all additional adults and children individually as you progress through the registration process. 
  • Please ensure the address provided is the address to which you would like your “homeschool day in a package” sent.
  • Registration will close approximately 1.5 weeks prior to the scheduled event to ensure homeschool day in boxes can be packed and shipped in a timely manner (dates are listed within each program offering below).
  • If your preferred program fills quickly, please add your family to the waitlist and if there is enough interest, we will consider adding additional program dates. You are welcome to register for your second choice in the meantime.
  • Feel free to reach out to the Marine Education Coordinator ([email protected]) with any questions or concerns regarding the waitlist and/or program preference.
  • The third party site that is used to process online credit card payments during the registration process will be down for maintenance on the following dates: October 15, October 22, and October 29. If you try to register on one of these dates, you may still submit your registration and reserve your spot(s) by selecting the "mail a check" option on the payment tab and pay with a credit card when the site is back again. Payments must be received by Wednesday, November 3rd so that we can ship packages by November 4th.

Virtual Family Homeschool Programs

Tuesday, November 16, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Register Now! (Full - Waitlist Only)
Registration closes on Wednesday, November 3rd

During the virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education and Animal Health staff and explore Hatfield Marine Science Center’s (HMCS) iconic mascot, the Giant Pacific Octopus!  


Virtual Programs Include:

Octopus LIVE! - Do you miss coming to the HMSC Visitor Center and watching live feedings of our Giant Pacific Octopus? Join us as our Animal Health staff feed and interact with our octopus on exhibit. We will explore the unique body parts and behaviors that make this critter so special!

We are Family? - Equipped with their newly gained knowledge about octopuses, participants will explore other live critters from the lab, including sea anemones, sea urchins, and squid to determine which animals are related to the octopus. How do we know animals are related? What is our evidence? Participants will draw, color, and label animal diagrams as we identify key features.


Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Family Craft Time - Each family will be provided the materials to engage in a variety of fun marine animal-themed crafts on their own time. 

Land Mollusk Investigations - Now that participants are mollusk experts, families will be challenged to find land-based mollusks, such as snails and slugs, in their backyard or along the hiking trail. Fall is a great time of year to get a closer look at these fascinating critters.

Monday, November 15, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Register Now! (Full - Waitlist Only)
Registration closes on Wednesday, November 3rd

During this virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education staff as they dig deeper into the digestion adaptations of terrestrial and marine birds.


Virtual Programs Include:

What was for Dinner? - Families will dissect their very own owl pellets and will learn about the diet and digestion process used by owls. Using identification guides and other tools, participants will be able to examine the bones and other contents found in the owl pellet in an effort to identify the owl’s last meal! Please note that one owl pellet will be provided per family. 

Seabird Stomach Ache - Shifting to the marine environment, participants will learn that owls are not the only bird to expel undigested food. Participants will discuss and compare contents found in an Albatross bolus and investigate how growing concerns about marine debris are related to this iconic seabird.  


Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

What was for Dinner (continued) - How many different prey did your owl eat? Take some time to continue to identify the bones found in your owl pellet and find out! Families are encouraged to use their guides and other resources provided in their homeschool kit to identify bones found in their owl pellet and reconstruct the skeletons of the owl’s recent prey source. 

Bird Crafts - Each family will be provided the materials and instructions to engage in a variety of bird crafts and origami!

Thursday, November 18, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Register Now! (Full - Waitlist Only)
Registration closes on Wednesday, November 3rd

During this virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Education staff and experience first-hand the methods and tools researchers use to learn more about shark movements, behaviors, and diet.


Virtual Programs Include:

Shark Behaviors - Participants will hear how Dr. Taylor Chapple, shark researcher from the Big Fish Lab at Oregon State University, is using innovative tools to learn more about large marine predators. Then, participants will gain hands-on experience identifying shark behaviors and movements as they watch video footage collected from the back of a shark!

Shark Bait Hoo Ha Ha - Continuing with the shark ecology theme, participants will dive deep into shark diets as they learn the caloric content of common shark prey. If you owned a shark restaurant, which prey source would be the most nutritious food source for the shark patrons? Join us and find out.


Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Shark Bait Hoo Ha Ha (continued) - families can continue their deep dive into shark feeding ecology as they investigate the most cost effective prey source to offer sharks in their very own "under the sea" restaurant.

Interested in a future career in marine science? Be sure to check out our recorded Careers in Science webinar series where dozens of STEM professionals discuss what it’s like to work in science and how they got to where they are today! View the 20+ hours of recordings at anytime on our career day website.

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!"