Our inquiry-based curriculum is designed to motivate and engage your students and support the Next Generation Science Standards through classroom or field experiences.

Ocean critter crafts at the Discovery Lab at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Curriculum for ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge

  • Sea otter in the wild

    Grades 6-8

    Activity Budget

    What can animal activity tell us about its survival and energy needs?

  • Beach in a Pan

    Grades 3-5

    Beach in a Pan

    How do waves shape beaches?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Habitat in a Bucket

    Grades 3-5

    Habitat in a Bucket

    What questions can be asked and tested in order to better understand a habitat?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades PreK-2

    Schoolyard Quadrat Investigations

    How does our schoolyard change over time?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    Grades 9-12

    The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    How does carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels affect the health of the ocean?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

  • Wind and Waves

    Grades 3-5

    Wind and Waves

    What causes ocean waves?

Curriculum for Giant Pacific Octopus

  • Sea otter in the wild

    Grades 6-8

    Activity Budget

    What can animal activity tell us about its survival and energy needs?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

Curriculum for Kelp Forest

  • Two children watch a cruise ship anchored in Monterey Bay

    Grades 3-5

    A 360-Degree Sense of Place

    Why is this place special?

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Crabs

    Grades PreK-2

    Crabs: Claws and Shells

    What behaviors and body parts do crabs have to help them survive?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Kelp Forest Engineering Challenge

    Grades 3-5

    Kelp Forest Engineering Challenge

    How can we simulate ocean-like motion in our Kelp Forest tank?

  • Light in the Deep Sea

    Grades 6-8

    Light in the Deep Sea

    What patterns are there in the colors of deep sea animals?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Ooey Gooey

    Grades 3-5

    Ooey Gooey

    How is energy transferred through organisms in an ocean food web?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades 3-5

    Shark Anatomy

    What are internal and external structures that help a shark survive?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

Curriculum for Life on the Bay

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Beach Contamination

    Grades 6-8

    Beach Contamination

    How can hazardous waste be cleaned up with the least impact on the environment while keeping within a budget?

  • Beach in a Pan

    Grades 3-5

    Beach in a Pan

    How do waves shape beaches?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Crabs

    Grades PreK-2

    Crabs: Claws and Shells

    What behaviors and body parts do crabs have to help them survive?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Find Your Beach

    Grades 3-5

    Find Your Beach

    Do all beaches look alike? Where did their sand come from? 

  • Habitat in a Bucket

    Grades 3-5

    Habitat in a Bucket

    What questions can be asked and tested in order to better understand a habitat?

  • Ooey Gooey

    Grades 3-5

    Ooey Gooey

    How is energy transferred through organisms in an ocean food web?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades PreK-2

    Schoolyard Quadrat Investigations

    How does our schoolyard change over time?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades 3-5

    Shark Anatomy

    What are internal and external structures that help a shark survive?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    Grades 9-12

    The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    How does carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels affect the health of the ocean?

  • Wind and Waves

    Grades 3-5

    Wind and Waves

    What causes ocean waves?

Curriculum for Mission to the Deep

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Gyre in a Bottle

    Grades 9-12

    Gyre in a Bottle

    How can a model describe how microplastics move in the ocean? 

  • Light in the Deep Sea

    Grades 6-8

    Light in the Deep Sea

    What patterns are there in the colors of deep sea animals?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

Curriculum for Monterey Bay Habitats

  • Sea otter in the wild

    Grades 6-8

    Activity Budget

    What can animal activity tell us about its survival and energy needs?

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Find Your Beach

    Grades 3-5

    Find Your Beach

    Do all beaches look alike? Where did their sand come from? 

  • Habitat in a Bucket

    Grades 3-5

    Habitat in a Bucket

    What questions can be asked and tested in order to better understand a habitat?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

Curriculum for Open Sea

  • Two children watch a cruise ship anchored in Monterey Bay

    Grades 3-5

    A 360-Degree Sense of Place

    Why is this place special?

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Biomagnification in Ocean Food Webs: Plastic Pollution

    Grades 9-12

    Biomagnification in Ocean Food Webs: Plastic Pollution

    How does plastic in the ocean affect the food web?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Gyre in a Bottle

    Grades 9-12

    Gyre in a Bottle

    How can a model describe how microplastics move in the ocean? 

  • Light in the Deep Sea

    Grades 6-8

    Light in the Deep Sea

    What patterns are there in the colors of deep sea animals?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Ooey Gooey

    Grades 3-5

    Ooey Gooey

    How is energy transferred through organisms in an ocean food web?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades 3-5

    Shark Anatomy

    What are internal and external structures that help a shark survive?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    Grades 9-12

    The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    How does carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels affect the health of the ocean?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

Curriculum for Rocky Shore

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Beach Contamination

    Grades 6-8

    Beach Contamination

    How can hazardous waste be cleaned up with the least impact on the environment while keeping within a budget?

  • Beach in a Pan

    Grades 3-5

    Beach in a Pan

    How do waves shape beaches?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Crabs

    Grades PreK-2

    Crabs: Claws and Shells

    What behaviors and body parts do crabs have to help them survive?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Dishpan Tide Pool

    Grades PreK-2

    Dishpan Tide Pool

    What happens to rocky shore animals when tides and waves change?  

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Patterns of Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Patterns of Survival

    What patterns do we see in animals that live in the same habitat?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    Grades 9-12

    The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    How does carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels affect the health of the ocean?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

  • Wind and Waves

    Grades 3-5

    Wind and Waves

    What causes ocean waves?

  • Southern sea otter mother and pup

    Grades PreK-2

    You're Like Me!

    How are animals similar to their parents?

Curriculum for Sandy Shore & Aviary

  • Sea otter in the wild

    Grades 6-8

    Activity Budget

    What can animal activity tell us about its survival and energy needs?

  • Be a Scientist

    Grades 6-8

    Be a Scientist

    How might the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem be connected?

  • Beach Contamination

    Grades 6-8

    Beach Contamination

    How can hazardous waste be cleaned up with the least impact on the environment while keeping within a budget?

  • Beach in a Pan

    Grades 3-5

    Beach in a Pan

    How do waves shape beaches?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Crabs

    Grades PreK-2

    Crabs: Claws and Shells

    What behaviors and body parts do crabs have to help them survive?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Find Your Beach

    Grades 3-5

    Find Your Beach

    Do all beaches look alike? Where did their sand come from? 

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • Wind and Waves

    Grades 3-5

    Wind and Waves

    What causes ocean waves?

Curriculum for Sea Otters

  • Sea otter in the wild

    Grades 6-8

    Activity Budget

    What can animal activity tell us about its survival and energy needs?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Ooey Gooey

    Grades 3-5

    Ooey Gooey

    How is energy transferred through organisms in an ocean food web?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

Curriculum for Splash Zone & Penguins

  • Beach in a Pan

    Grades 3-5

    Beach in a Pan

    How do waves shape beaches?

  • Bird Feeding Strategies

    Grades PreK-2

    Bird Feeding Strategies

    What might beak shape tell you about how a bird gets food?

  • Crabs

    Grades PreK-2

    Crabs: Claws and Shells

    What behaviors and body parts do crabs have to help them survive?

  • Decode a Fish

    Grades 3-5

    Decode a Fish

    What patterns do we observe in the body shapes of fishes that live in the same habitat?

  • Dishpan Tide Pool

    Grades PreK-2

    Dishpan Tide Pool

    What happens to rocky shore animals when tides and waves change?  

  • Habitat in a Bucket

    Grades 3-5

    Habitat in a Bucket

    What questions can be asked and tested in order to better understand a habitat?

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Shark Anatomy

    Grades PreK-2

    Schoolyard Quadrat Investigations

    How does our schoolyard change over time?

  • What is a Fish?

    Grades PreK-2

    What is a Fish?

    What makes a fish a fish?

  • Wind and Waves

    Grades 3-5

    Wind and Waves

    What causes ocean waves?

Curriculum for Tentacles

  • Gyre in a Bottle

    Grades 9-12

    Gyre in a Bottle

    How can a model describe how microplastics move in the ocean? 

  • Ocean Survival

    Grades PreK-2

    Ocean Survival

    What do living things need to survive?

  • Ooey Gooey

    Grades 3-5

    Ooey Gooey

    How is energy transferred through organisms in an ocean food web?

  • Plastics in the Water Column

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics in the Water Column

    Where can you find plastic in the water column and how might it affect the animals that live there?

  • Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    Grades 6-8

    Plastics: Reduce Use or Recycle?

    How do we use plastics? Are there better or worse uses of plastics?

  • Plastics Use Audit

    Grades 9-12

    Plastics Use Audit

    What types of plastics do we use the most? How can we reduce our use of single‐use plastics?

  • Shower Curtain Watershed

    Grades 3-5

    Shower Curtain Watershed

    What is a watershed and how do humans affect its health?

  • The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    Grades 9-12

    The Power of pH: Changing Ocean Chemistry

    How does carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels affect the health of the ocean?