Incorporate an interactive program into your next coast trip! We offer a variety of one- and two-hour classes for schools and other educational groups. Topics range from marine technology, animal adaptations, field sampling, data collection, and more.

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 as of Saturday, March 14, until further notice. 

Also, following on the closure of all public K-12 schools as instituted by Governor Kate Brown, we will curtail our K-12 school programming until further notice. If you already have a confirmed upcoming trip, the Marine Education Coordinator will be in contact with you regarding potential cancellation and provide options to reschedule, as needed. Until further notice, please refrain from paying in advance for your trip. Please keep an eye on this website for updates. We sincerely thank you for understanding.

Let's Keep Learning! 

Looking for learning activities that bring STEM home? Check out the Oregon Coast STEM Hub website for their activity calendar for online STEM events the whole family can join. The resource page provides links to a variety of STEM curriculum and activities.

Reservation Details

  • CLASSES: Review list of lab and field experiences
  • COST: $6.50 per student/per hour; minimum fee $75/hour
  • TIME: 1-2 hours long, available M-F, 9 am - 5 pm
  • FIELD TRIP REQUEST: Complete online in advance
  • CONFIRMATION: Requests are reviewed and confirmed via email
  • PAYMENT: Checks or Purchase Orders are accepted the day of the trip; credit card payments can be made via the online system before or after trip
  • CHAPERONES: One admitted free for every five students
  • CANCELLATIONS: $75 fee per program hour for cancellations made within 48 hours of an event
  • CHANGE HEADCOUNT: To change the number of students contact the Marine Education Coordinator
  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Review day-of-trip logistics and student expectations ahead of time.

Visitor Center Exploration

If your students wish to explore the Visitor Center, please register ahead of time to let us know you are coming! If visiting during normal public hours, we suggest a $1.75 per person donation.

The Visitor Center is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Labor Day and Memorial Day. If your visit occurs when the Center is closed to the public, you may arrange in advance for your students to explore the exhibits for a fee of $1.75 per person per hour ($50 per hour minimum).

Quests

Consider doing a Quest while at Hatfield! Review our two onsite Quests. Read "Tips for Questing with School Groups."

Lab Classes


Grades: PreK - 2nd

Time: 1 hour

Description: Students will learn about a variety of marine organisms and their needs for survival as they create miniature ocean habitats complete with algae, snails, crabs, barnacles, food and shelter.

Previsit materials: (PDF) (accessible HTML)

Special notes: Live animal interactions


Grades: PreK - 2nd

Time: 1 hour

Description: Through hands-on exploration, students discover the sticky parts of live sea anemones, sea urchins and other marine organisms. Find out what causes the stickiness, and learn how being adhesive helps animals defend themselves, capture food or maintain their position in tide pools.

Previsit materials: none

Special notes: Live animal interactions


Grades: 3rd - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Observe a variety of marine animals from sandy beaches, estuaries and rocky shores. Investigate the adaptations they have for surviving in these marine environments.

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: Live animal interactions


Grades: 3rd - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Students participate in live crab races, form hypotheses, and design experiments to test them. What variables determine which crabs are faster? Is it size, species, sex, or number of appendages? Join us as we investigate in this engaging program! 

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: Live animal interactions


Grades: 4th - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Investigate the external and internal anatomy of squid while studying how these invertebrates are adapted for life in the sea. Students will also learn how to use dissection tools and proper dissection techniques

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: none


Grades: 5th - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Learn about the external and internal anatomy of bony fish species while gaining an understanding of the purpose of various organs. Discover how data is collected by researchers and used to manage fish populations.

Previsit materials: none

Special notes: none


Grades: 5th - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Discover the rocky intertidal habitat and the diverse creatures that live there, all in the lab. Learn about the environmental forces that make this ever-changing habitat a challenging place to live, while investigating the relationships among living things and the interactions between them.

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: Live animal interactions


Grades: 5th - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Work together as a class to assemble the skeleton of a 16-foot-long Cuvier’s beaked whale. Students will also learn about the differences and similarities of toothed and baleen whales using real whale teeth, baleen and other biofacts. 

Previsit materials: none

Special notes: none


Grades: 6th - adult

Time: 2 hours

Description: In this hands-on program, students are introduced to Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and challenged to work in teams to design mini-ROVs that will be used to complete a mission. This engaging class meets Engineering Design science standards while promoting teamwork and critical thinking skills. This program is partially outdoors - rain gear recommended!

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: none

Classes in the Field


Grades: all ages

Time: 1 hour

Description: Discover estuaries and the critical habitat they provide as we explore plant and animal life along the Yaquina Bay. Collect and observe a variety of organisms found in the unique environment of mudflats and learn about their adaptations. 

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: Live animal interactions; boots and rain gear highly recommended - no flip flops; low tide required for this class. Consult 2020 tide tables for dates and times.


Grades: 5th - adult

Time: 1 hour

Description: Use plankton nets to collect samples from the Yaquina Bay, then identify plankton using microscopes in this combination field and lab program. Students will learn about the importance of plankton to the survival of all marine organisms and observe filter feeders consuming plankton in this hands-on program. Boots are required for this program, as students need to wade into the estuary to collect plankton samples.

Previsit materials: (PDF)

Special notes: Live animal interactions; boots and rain gear highly recommended - no flip flops.


Grades: 6th - adult

Time: 2 hour

Description: Discover estuaries and the critical habitat they provide as we explore plant and animal life along the Yaquina Bay. Collect and observe a variety of organisms found in the unique environment of mudflats, and learn about their adaptations. Examine collected specimens further in our wet lab. Learn about current research being conducted and help collect data for use by researchers.

Previsit materials: none

Special notes: Live animal interactions; boots and rain gear highly recommended - no flip flops; low tide required for this class. Consult 2020 tide tables for dates and times.

Students explore sea snail during lab class at Hatfield

Confirmation Process

  • After you make your online field trip request, you will receive an automatic confirmation message. The trip is not officially registered until the Marine Education Coordinator reviews your request. They will contact you with any questions, and send a final trip approval email with a cost estimate and essential trip details. 
  • Review confirmation email to ensure dates and classes are correct.
  • Cost is based on the number of students and chaperones registered. 
  • Headcounts may be adjusted without penalty up to 48 hours prior to your visit. To change headcounts contact the Marine Education Coordinator.

Payment

  • Access your invoice via the online registration system.
  • Credit card payments can be made at any time before or after your visit using the online registration system.
  • Checks and purchase orders should be made payable to "HMSC Sea Grant" and mailed to HMSC, 2030 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365.
  • If you are paying on the day of your trip, we only accept checks or purchase orders.
  • Bringing fewer students the day of the program due to illness or other absence will not result in a fee reduction or refund. 
  • Fees will be charged for additional students or chaperones brought on the day of your visit.