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Learning in the Lab (classes + tours)


DIVE IN! Come explore with The Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center is a wonderful field trip destination for students of all ages! Enhance your curriculum with an interactive program in our marine science classroom and/or a school tour of our hospital. Our classroom programs and guided tours focus on the Center's mission and work including topics such as what we feed our patients to how we diagnose diseases. All of our school programs align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Available Days:

  • School Programs are offered Monday – Friday, typically from 10:00am until 5:00pm
  • The species and amount of patients we have on site change daily. Our busiest patient months are March - June and our slowest patient months are November - February. Please check the Current Patients page of our web site for the most up to date information about our patients.

Group size: 

  • 20 participants (including chaperones) for Preschool and Kindergarten age groups
  • 35 participants (including chaperones) for 1st grade through 12th grade groups 
  • 15 participants (including chaperones) for the add-on Behind the Scenes tour!

Note around fees: Payment is due one month before your scheduled field trip date (All prices are subject to change without notice.)

Reservation Information:
Read the description of the classroom programs and guided school tours below.

Please note: Colleges interested in taking a program should visit the College Connections page.

From fish milkshakes to ocean trash, students learn about how we care for patients at our hospital and how we can all help their ocean home. Simulated rescue and rehabilitation demonstrations bring the Center's animal care functions to life. Students will explore specimens to learn the difference between seals and sea lions. Observing our patients will evoke compassion in students and inspire them to help protect our ocean environment.
45 minutes • $185
Do you have what it takes to work at the world’s largest marine mammal hospital? Come see our patients and learn about all the different jobs required to help care for them. Through patient case studies, students will discover that it takes a whole team with many different skills to rescue, rehabilitate, release, research and educate about marine mammals. You’ll discover exciting opportunities for teens at TMMC and maybe even find your future career!
45 minutes • $185
Take a journey through the body systems of a marine mammal, while touring the hospital! Students focus on a variety of organs and analyzing actual veterinary test results from our patients. From blood slides to scope exams, student scientists get a real look at how we diagnose disease in these amazing animals. This in-depth investigation of marine mammal health is recommended for groups that have previously visited the Marine Mammal Center and/or have studied directly related content in class.
45 minutes • $185
Add this exciting option only available for small groups of high school students onto your Marine Science Careers or Diagnosing Diseases tour. Students will have a unique opportunity to expand their understanding of marine mammals through a look at some of the unique case studies treated at our hospital. Take a peek behind-the-scenes at our harbor seal hospital, life support systems and patient treatment areas while exploring the unique injuries and illness treated here using cutting-edge research and technology.

*This option is an add on to a tour and cannot be booked separately.
**If your party is more than 15 people, please email for bookings.
30 minutes • $150 • 15 participant maximum.
Learning in the Lab
Through short stories, puppets, animal sounds and dress-up, students learn about a variety of marine mammals (including sea otters, seals, sea lions, dolphins and whales). Observe how your students measure up to life-size rollouts of seals and sea lions! Students will examine specimens such as skulls, pelts and bones while they learn how the Center cares for these animals.
45 minutes • $185
An interactive program highlighting the care patients receive at our hospital. Students will role-play the experience of an animal care crew including: admitting a patient, creating fish milkshakes and participating in fish school! Through these activities, students will gain a better understanding of how similar we are to the patients we care for at the Center.
45 minutes • $185
Through an engaging combination of video clips, short activities, and specimen examination, students explore the behaviors and survival skills of Northern elephant seal pups. Special attention is paid to the relationship between mothers and pups in their wild habitats, as well as how we care for pups at the Center.
45 minutes • $185
Get ready to sharpen your marine science detective skills! Much like our scientists and veterinarians analyze evidence to diagnose patients, students will work to unveil mystery marine mammals that reside along our rescue range. Specimens, microscopes, and group discussions will ultimately reveal interesting answers and unique stories about patients we’ve treated. See what it's like to think like a scientist through observations and inquiry in this engaging experience!
45 minutes • $185


Scholarship Information
As a result of generous support from donors, The Marine Mammal Center is able to offer a limited number of needs-based scholarships to eligible applicants.

Scholarships for The Marine Mammal Center's "Learning in the Lab" and "Sea to School" programs are awarded based on Free and Reduced Lunch Plan eligibility and scholarship availability. For example, a school with 60% of its student population receiving FRLP will be eligible for a scholarship which will cover 60% of the fees for the selected program(s) if the application is approved. This school would pay just $74 for a program that is regularly priced at $185. A limited number of scholarships are available and will be provided until all funding has been distributed. For this reason, we recommend booking as early as possible. Scholarship programs are typically restricted to the months of October-January. Please email with questions or to request a scholarship application.

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