|The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Mission Canyon Campus and Sea Center offer school groups unique learning experiences through various activities designed to meet specific educational goals. Students are encouraged to develop keen observation skills, to generate questions, and to construct a personal understanding of the natural world. School programs are aligned with California State Standards and support STEM literacy. Reservations are required for all programs.
Available October 1 – June 4
- Interactive Tours provide open-ended opportunities for discovery in small groups with docents, when available. Exploration Stations in the exhibit halls provide hands-on materials for up-close investigations.(Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- Discovery Labs are grade-specific programs for the whole class that provide hands-on learning activities. Inquiry-based methods are used to stimulate thinking.
(Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- Outdoor Nature Explorations are available rain or shine. Students explore and closely observe the various habitats along Mission Creek with Museum docents. For many students, this will be their first experience in “real nature.” (Tuesday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- Planetarium Programs provide standards-aligned presentations for grades 3 and 5. (Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- Mondays My Way offers 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. This is the only weekday that clipboards are allowed in the Museum. No docents are present. (Monday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- AstronoMonday is the day to bring 5th grade students to the Museum for planetarium programs as well as our AstroLab. (Monday, 9:30–10:45 AM; 10:45 AM–Noon)
Sea Center Explorations
Available September 5 – June 4.
- Interactive Tours give students the chance to observe, touch, and explore marine life in small groups. Trained docents guide engaging experiences with sharks and rays, tide pool animals, marine mammals, oceanography equipment, and live jellies. Each tour meets grade-level content standards. (Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
- Discovery Labs allow students to investigate the features, behaviors, and interactions of live animals and plants in the Sea Center exhibits. Each lab is designed to elicit student inquiry and meet grade level content standards. (Monday–Friday, 9:00-10:00 AM, grades 4-6 only)
- Outdoor Explorations provide grade-specific, inquiry-based outdoor experiences aligned with state standards. Students explore the natural world along East Beach near Mission Creek Lagoon using scientific tools to enhance observations and collect data. (Monday–Friday, 10:00–11:00 AM; 11:00 AM–Noon)
To schedule class visits (Registration begins August 19 for the 2013-2014 school year)
- Museum Mission Canyon Campus
805-682-4711 ext. 108
Monday-Friday, 1:00–5:00 PM
- Sea Center Campus
805-962-2526 ext. 108
Monday–Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM