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 Life from A to Z

Monday, November, 4 2019, 10:00 AM TO 4:00 PM

Our oceans and coastal habitats are home to a wide variety of marine life. During this day long homeschool program, families will interact with several different organisms, from anemones to zooplankton, and learn about how their adaptations enable them to live in diverse habitats.

For this event, each family will choose a track to follow together for the day. Tracks are for all ages, but we do offer suggestions depending on the age of your family members. For mixed ages, we suggest the Anemone (youngest) or Barnacle track. For mostly older children, we suggest the Crab track. 

One adult must be present per family and must stay with children throughout the event. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Cost is $25.00 per participant (adults and children). Each additional adult or child must be added to the registration. Registration will open Tuesday, September 3, 2019. 

*Please note, our credit card payment site shuts down on a monthly basis for updates. It will be unavailable September 18th and October 16th. 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

The Anenome Track is recommended for families with younger children. The classes and descriptions offered through this track are listed below.

Sticky Science – Discover the sticky parts of live sea anemones, sea urchins, mussels, barnacles, and other marine organisms. Find out what causes the stickiness, and learn how being adhesive helps animals defend themselves, capture food, and/or maintain their position in tide pools. 

Fishy Investigations – Examine the morphology of different fish to determine where and how they live and what they eat. Then, finish the class with a fish printing craft to take home. 

Bird Beak Buffet – All animals are adapted to their environment in unique ways. A very important adaptation for food gathering in birds is the size and shape of the beak. In this activity, we will discover how types of beaks function in collecting specific foods as participants assume the roles of various bird species and they compete for food available. 

The Barnacle Track is recommended for families with mixed-aged children. The classes and descriptions offered through this track are listed below.

Bird Beak Buffet – All animals are adapted to their environment in unique ways. A very important adaptation for food gathering in birds is the size and shape of the beak. In this activity, we will discover how types of beaks function in collecting specific foods as participants assume the roles of various bird species and they compete for food available. 

Crusty Crustaceans – Explore the body shape, coloration, and other adaptations of ghost shrimp, hermit crabs, porcelain crabs, and more to determine where these critters live and how they survive in various marine environments. 

Plankton Lab – Participants will use microscopes to explore the size, shape, and unique adaptations that enable plankton to be neutrally buoyant in the water column. The newly gained knowledge will then be put to the test, as participants design their own creation for a plankton buoyancy challenge.  

The Crab Track is recommended for families with mostly older children. The classes and descriptions offered through this track are listed below.

Fishy Investigations – Examine the morphology of different fish to determine where and how they live and what they eat. Then, finish the class with a fish printing craft to take home. 

Plankton Lab – Participants will use microscopes to explore the size, shape, and unique adaptations that enable plankton to be neutrally buoyant in the water column. The newly gained knowledge will then be put to the test, as participants design their own creation for a plankton buoyancy challenge.  

Crusty Crustaceans – Explore the body shape, coloration, and other adaptations of ghost shrimp, hermit crabs, porcelain crabs, and more to determine where these critters live and how they survive in various marine environments. 

Homeschool Event at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Sleep with the Sharks: Monday, November 4, 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 Homeschool 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!"