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Get ready to chaperone! Being a chaperone is a great way to enjoy a visit to the Aquarium, but is an important responsibility. As a chaperone, you are responsible for a group of students during their visit to the Aquarium, and you are an essential part of creating a positive experience for all involved.

A visiting school group at orientation on the back deck of the Aquarium

Get Oriented

Check out the orientation video to get familiar with Aquarium procedures during a field trip.

Students and chaperone on a field trip touching animals at the Kelp Zone Touch Pool

Your Role as a Chaperone

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a place of learning, fun and discovery! Help the students explore the Aquarium and make sure they behave appropriately.
  • Stay with the students who have been assigned to you. The Aquarium requires that students stay with their chaperones at all times, regardless of the age of the student.

A group of students and chaperones on a field trip

Wear Your Badge

Your chaperone badge must be visible at all times. Your badge is your pass for exiting and re-entering the Aquarium with your group of students.

A group of kids examine olive snails

Follow Our Behavior Guidelines

Be sure you understand the plan for the day by checking in with the lead teacher of your group. Review the behavior contract (PDF) yourself and share with your group of students.

  • Stay with your group. Students and adult chaperones must stay together at all times — inside the Aquarium, out on the deck, in all gift stores and in the lunch area.
  • Be courteous and respectful of all visitors. Talk quietly and walk through the Aquarium. Use the stairs, leaving elevators available for those who need them. Don't play on the escalator.
  • Be respectful of the Aquarium exhibits and building. Use books or clipboards to write against, instead of walls, windows or exhibit labels. Don't climb on exhibits or railings.
  • Help protect the animals. When permitted, touch the animals gently. Don't disturb animals by tapping on the windows. Don't feed the birds on the deck or at the picnic area.
  • Keep food, drinks and gum outside the Aquarium. School groups are not allowed to eat lunches or drink in the Aquarium, on the benches in front of the Great Tide Pool or on any deck areas. This includes the Monterey Bay Aquarium Restaurant and Cafe, and the seating area outside the Cafe. You will have an assigned lunch time and space.
  • Teachers and chaperones are responsible for students. While acting as a chaperone on a field trip, adults may not purchase or consume alcohol.
  • Please respect our Aquarium neighbors. If allowed to visit merchants on Cannery Row, please make sure students are accompanied by chaperones and demonstrate appropriate behavior.

Students in the Discovery Lab

How to Help Your Students Learn

  • Download an exploration guide before you arrive to make your experience even more interactive and educational. These guides include games, activities and more.
  • Let the students know that you are visiting the Aquarium to have fun and to learn at the same time.
  • Encourage your students' exploration with open-ended questions, such as: What do you see? Why do you think that animal acts like that?
  • Help students find answers to their own questions about the exhibits by looking at the exhibits and reading the exhibit labels with them.
  • Talk with our friendly Aquarium Guides. They're happy to help and always have interesting facts to share.

Monterey Bay Aquarium visitor map


  • If a student gets lost, go to the Information Center near the Main Entrance.
  • If a student gets injured, ask anyone wearing an Aquarium name badge to call Security and an Aquarium officer will report to the location of the injured person.
  • For shopping, use the Ocean Discovery Store near the gray whale model. It carries popular, affordable items. You must accompany your students in the store.
  • Restrooms and drinking fountains are inside by the Ocean Discovery Store and outside on Hovden Way.
  • The group picnic area is outside on the Recreation Trail. Some groups will be assigned to the multipurpose room in the Bechtel Education Center. Your group leader will provide the details for lunch.
  • Download Aquarium map (PDF)

Bechtel Education Center

The Bechtel Education Center

Starting in fall 2019, Discovery Lab programs for students in grades 3–12 will take place in the center's four learning lab classrooms. The Bechtel Education Center is located just a few blocks from the Aquarium on Cannery Row.

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