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  Grade Level 6
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Standards-aligned experiences for your class! Reservations are required.
  • Museum reservations taken Monday through Friday from 1:00–5:00 PM at 805-682-4711 ext. 108.
  • Sea Center reservations taken Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM, at 805-962-2526 ext. 108.


  • Interactive TourSpecimens Kids
    (Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon) Group size: maximum 80 students per hour. May be combined with a Discovery Lab or Outdoor Nature Exploration.

    These tours provide open-ended opportunities for discovery in small groups with chaperones.  Students explore the Museum, visiting exhibit halls that focus on regional natural history, including birds, insects, mammals, marine life, paleontology, geology, and Chumash Indians. In various halls, Exploration Stations with Museum docents offer hands-on opportunities for close observation.  

    Tours go to most of the Museum’s halls. Clipboards and other student supplies are not allowed on these tours; please see “Mondays My Way” for that option or to focus on one or more halls
  • Discovery Lab (Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00–Noon) Group size: maximum 80 students per hour. May be combined with an Interactive Tour or Outdoor Nature Exploration.

Up Close - Geology or Biology
Students explore how we know what we know about the details of the natural world using tools scientists use. Students learn to use differnt types of hand lenses and microscopes to observe a variety of magnifications. Teachers choose if this is done through the lens of geology or

  • Outdoor Nature Explorations
    (Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
    Group size: maximum one class.Collecting May be combined with an Interactive Tour or Discovery Lab.

Watershed Ecology
Research teams of students observe and record the biotic and abiotic factors indicating the health of Mission Creek. Students catch and identify aquatic animals to determine the creek's health.

Geology Walk

Students investigate the dynamic processes of the Earth's surface by direct observation walking the Mission Creek area. Students will see evidence of a paleo channel, fault lines, uplift, mountain building, erosion, sedimentation, and a catastrophic event.

  • Mondays My Way
    (Monday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon) Group size: maximum 80 students per hour.

    This is an opportunity for teachers to conduct investigations in the exhibit halls with their own classes. Teacher-prepared scavenger hunts, single hall studies, and special topic focus are some of the possibilities. Monday is the only week day that clipboards are allowed in the Museum.


  • Interactive Tour
    (Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon) Group size: maximum 80 students.

    Interactive Tours give students the chance to observe, touch, and explore marine life in small groups. Trained docents guide engaging, interactive expereinces with sharks, tide pool animals, marine mammals, oceanography equipment, and live jellies. Studnets learn firsthand about how matter and energy are transfered among the vast food chains of the ocean.
  • Outdoor Explorations (on East Beach)
    (Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon) May be combined with an Interactive Tour.

Beach Profiling
Students employ the tools of marine scientists and coastal geologists to gather data and graph a side view of the topography of East Beach in Santa Barbara. In small groups, they learn how to sight the horizon through transit rods and record elevation measurements at two-meter intervals along a single line transect. Students also conduct experiments with water and sand to determine the effect of waves on the beach. Finally, they draw conclusions about the natural forces that shape the beach over time.

  • Discovery Lab (in the Sea Center)
    (Monday–Friday, 9:00–10:00 AM) May be combined with an Interactive Tour.

Energy Exchange in the Ocean
Students investigate the energy-related connections between organisms and the environment within an ocean ecosystem. They retrieve and explore samples of plankton, kelp, and sand-dwelling invertebrates from the ocean using scientific equipment. They also observe larger ocean animals such as crabs and fish in the Sea Center tanks. After categorizing these living organisms according to the functions they serve (i.e., producers, consumers, decomposers), students create food webs to show how energy flows through the ocean ecosystem beginning with sunlight.




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