Reservations for the 2016–17 school year are now open.
Please use a desktop or laptop computer to make your reservation.
Ocean Explorer Program in the Monterey Bay Aquarium auditorium

These 25-minute programs set the stage for a fun, focused visit! Enjoy the "inside stories" of the Monterey Bay Aquarium starting in the auditorium, where our educators use rich media to prepare your students and chaperones to explore the Aquarium and to provide them with a focus for their visit. Your group will continue to our exhibit areas where students and chaperones use an Aquarium-provided Exploration Booklet filled with activities designed to promote interesting conversations and focused observation at exhibits. The program includes self-guided time at the Aquarium.

Group Information:

Minimum 30 students, maximum 140 students

A maximum of three consecutive grade levels can be accommodated in one Ocean Explorers auditorium program. Siblings not enrolled in the class with the reservation are not allowed to participate in the program.

Ocean Explorers programs are not recommended for special needs groups.

Program Times (Mon.–Fri.):

9:40–10:05 a.m.
10:15–10:40 a.m.
10:50–11:15 a.m.

Arrival Time:

Check-in time is 15 minutes before each program starts. If you arrive after your designated arrival time, we may not be able to provide a program for your students.

Program Options

Chambered nautilus

Cephalopods: Fact and Fiction

What is a cephalopod? Students will find out during this 25-minute multimedia introduction in the auditorium. This diverse class within the phylum Mollusca includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefishes and nautiluses. By exploring fictional stories and current science, students will discover the unique adaptations these animals share with each other and other molluscs. They will also learn what it takes to display these mysterious animals at the Aquarium. After the program, students will explore the Aquarium with their chaperones to find the amazing diversity of Molluscan life, including those in our exhibit, Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes!

"Cephalopods: Fact and Fiction" Exploration Booklet (PDF)

Next Generation Science Standards
  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    Supports LS1.A
    Relates to LS2.A
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Structure and Function
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Deep sea animal

Dive into the Deep

If aliens exist, do they only live in outer space? Join us on a virtual dive to the bottom of the Monterey Canyon, where we'll reveal the bizarre creatures that live in the darkness of the deep. During a 25-minute introduction in the auditorium, we'll use amazing images and video footage to "dive" into the cold, dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. Using the latest technologies from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), we'll learn how scientists and engineers work together to study the largest, most mysterious habitat on earth.

Together, we'll discover the unique adaptations deep-sea animals have for surviving the extremes of the depths, and learn about the connection between ourselves and what lies beneath the deep sea.

"Dive into the Deep" Exploration Booklet (PDF)

Next Generation Science Standards
  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Asking Questions and Defining Problems
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    Supports LS2.A
    Relates to ESS3.C
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Systems and Systems Models
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Please make your Field Trip reservation using a desktop or laptop computer as our online reservations system isn't compatible with mobile devices.