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.

COVID-19 Update:

In our continuing efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, especially among our more vulnerable staff, volunteers, and visitors – the Visitor Center is closed and all in-person education programming has been curtailed until further notice. However, our education team is working to generate fun virtual opportunities for students and families and will be updating this website as program logistics unfold. Be sure to check back and we look forward to seeing you at one of our future virtual programs!

Spring 2021 Virtual Homeschool Programming

Registration Open!

Oregon Sea Grant’s Spring Homeschool Day event (typically held in person) will be offered virtually in March and April 2021! We will be offering a variety of age-specific programs via the Zoom meeting platform for children (grades PreK-12th grade). Students will participate in grade-specific virtual programming along with their peers - be sure to review program-specific details below and register your child for the appropriate age group. 

Please note that we anticipate younger children needing help with some of the hands-on virtual activities. Therefore, parents are required to accompany participants registered for the PreK-1st grade program. Parental guidance is not required for grades 2nd-12th, but we do ask parents/guardians/caretakers to help younger students access the virtual Zoom meeting on event day. Space is limited for each program - so be sure to register as soon as possible.

 

Virtual Program Logistics:
  • Structure/Format:
    • Two-hour virtual meeting via Zoom (with access to video and audio) where educators engage participants in hands-on marine science activities. Students will engage in grade-specific activities with their peers. Parental participation is only required for the PreK - 1st grade program participants.
    • Participants will be mailed a “Homeschool Day in a Box/Envelope” prior to the homeschool program. The box/envelope will include all materials needed to participate in virtual activities and additional activities for participants to do on their own time. 
    • Important Note: Parents/Guardians who submit the registration will receive the Zoom meeting link separately one week prior to the virtual program. All “Homeschool Day in a Box” boxes/envelopes will be shipped via priority mail approximately 1.5 weeks prior to the virtual program.

 

  • Cost: $30 per student (adults accompanying younger children are free)
    • Cost includes staff time and shipment of all “homeschool day in a box/envelope” materials necessary to engage in all activities.
    • All participants will receive their own set of materials. For example, if you register two children for the same program, each child will receive their own set of materials in the same box/envelope.

 

  • Registration: Register Now! 
    • During registration, please register each child separately. 
    • Please ensure the address provided is the mailing address to which you would like your "homeschool day in a box/envelope" sent.
    • Registration will close approximately 2 weeks prior to the scheduled event to ensure homeschool day in boxes/envelopes can be packed and shipped in a timely manner (dates are listed within each program offering below). Please ensure your payment is received by the registration deadline (deadlines are specific to each program).
    • If your preferred program fills quickly, please add your participant to the waitlist and you will be notified as space becomes available.
    • Feel free to reach out to the Marine Education Coordinator ([email protected]) with any program-specific questions or concerns regarding the waitlist.

Virtual Program Options

Tuesday, March 30, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Registration closed on Wednesday, March 17
 

During this virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education staff and experience first-hand a variety of ways researchers use sampling tools and techniques to conduct research in tidepool and estuarine environments.

Virtual Programs Include:

Rocky Intertidal Ecology - Learn the data collection techniques used by rocky intertidal researchers to monitor tidepool flora and fauna. Through this data collection activity, participants will explore how long-term monitoring techniques generate datasets that help ecologists track the impacts of climate change, sea star wasting disease, and more on the unique plants and animals that call tidepools home.

Seagrass Science - Experience the “day in the life” of an estuarine ecologist (minus the mud) and learn how to identify and characterize the presence of seagrasses and macroalgae found among three different Oregon estuaries. Then, hear from ecologist, Dr. Caitlin Magel, how she used similar methods to determine the impacts of climate change on seagrass beds as part of her recent graduate work at Oregon State University.

Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Backyard Field Science -  Participants will be provided supplies to engineer their own research tools so they can continue to data from their very own backyard.

Seagrass Science - Participants will have the opportunity to continue their seagrass and macroalgae data collection activity on their own time.

Interested in hearing from STEM professionals what it’s like to work in science? Be sure to checkout our Careers in Science webinar recordings on our career day website.

Tuesday, April 6, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Registration closesd on Wednesday, March 24

 

During this virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education staff and magnify their curiosity as they take closer look at algae, sand, and more!

Virtual Programs Include:

Amazing Algae - Participants will be provided with their very own Foldscope (hand-held, paper microscope) so they can get a closer look at the cellular structure of algae (samples provided. Compare different algae samples to flowers, blades of grass, and leaves collected from your backyard!

Stunning Sources of Sand - Get a closer look at sand samples collected from beaches along the Oregon coast and beyond. Through several hands-on activities, participants will use tools and techniques to learn about the different characteristics and origins of the granules we call ‘sand.’ 

Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Foldscopes at Home - Continue to magnify your world as you get a closer look at other household and backyard items. Participants are encouraged to use their Foldscope to analyze dog saliva, homemade “pond water,” flower petals, decomposing leaves, and more! 

Leaf Prints - Participants will be provided photo sensitive paper to create their own leaf prints (adult supervision required). Leaves could be collected from your yard or consider collecting fun samples from a family nature walk!

Tuesday, April 13, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Registration closed on Wednesday, March 31
 

During this virtual homeschool program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education staff and explore bird adaptations and hermit crab habitat preferences.

Virtual Programs Include:

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 hands-on 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.

Hermit Crab Lab - Participants will investigate the ideal habitat for hermit crabs by viewing pre-recorded hermit crab videos. Do hermit crabs prefer sand or rocky/shell habitats? Videos will be coupled with racing-themed music for added virtual fun!

Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Crab and Bird Crafts - Each participant will be provided the materials and instructions to make paper plate birds, cotton ball plover chicks, and paper plate hermit crabs!

Leaf Prints - Participants will be provided photo sensitive paper to create their own leaf prints (adult supervision required). Leaves could be collected from your yard or consider collecting fun samples from a family nature walk!

Tuesday, April 20, 1 - 3 pm (PT)
Registration closes on Wednesday, April 7th
Register Now!

During the virtual Homeschool Day program, participants will engage with Oregon Sea Grant Marine Education staff and explore different adaptations of birds and marine mammals! Please note: adult supervision is required for this program (accompanying adults are free of charge).

Virtual Programs Include:

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 hands-on activity, participants 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.

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

Additional (Non-Virtual Time) Activities:

Marine Mammal and Bird Crafts - Each participant will be provided the materials and instructions to make cotton ball plover chicks, and sea otter puppets!

Design Your Own Shorebird or Seabird - Participants will be encouraged to design their own bird featuring recently learned adaptations!

Leaf Prints - Participants will be provided photo sensitive paper to create their own leaf prints (adult supervision required). Leaves could be collected from your yard or consider collecting fun samples from a family nature walk!

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!"