We’re Building a new Ocean Education and Leadership Center for California’s Schoolchildren and Teachers!
Each year, more than 75,000 schoolchildren and teachers take part in our array of free school programs. We’ve always known we can do far more in reaching and teaching students and educators about the oceans, given the right space. On Monday, we became the new owners of two connecting buildings located at 585 and 625 Cannery Row, a short walk from the Aquarium. One is destined to become our state-of-the-art, K-12 Ocean Education and Leadership Center.
Reaching teens and teachers
So what will the new center do? It will mainly offer innovative and highly interactive education programs for teens and teachers—programs that will take advantage of the most appropriate, cutting-edge learning technology.
The Aquarium’s role in science education has become increasingly important at a time when the capacity to deliver 21st century science learning is on the decline in schools. “We have a crisis in science and environmental education right now,” Executive Director Julie Packard points out. “Society’s success will depend on today’s young people having the knowledge, skills and motivation to create solutions to very complex problems.”
The new Ocean Education and Leadership Center will make a significant contribution to science education throughout the state of California. It will allow for some increase in the number of students who can attend an Aquarium education program, and a much deeper impact on many that do. The new 13,000 square-foot center will also allow the Aquarium to better meet California’s Next Generation of Science Standards, while doubling the yearly number of science teachers who take part in our teacher institutes to more than 1,200.
Turning the center from a concept to a reality will depend on a $50 million fundraising campaign that supports our Children’s Education Fund. To date, the campaign has raised $20 million toward that goal.
- Four STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning labs, each large enough to accommodate for 40 students
- A large multi-use space for workshops and video teleconferences
- A new pre-Aquarium orientation space for visiting school groups
- Storage and supply rooms, including for new technology
- A rainy-day lunch space for school groups
- Offices for 35 education staff
- Collaborative meeting spaces for staff, teachers and youth
- A convenient, safe parking lot dedicated to schoolbus pick-up and drop-off
The new Ocean Education and Leadership Center is expected to open at the start of the school year in fall 2016.
Bet you didn’t see that coming! Watch these clever cephalopods capture prey in less time than it takes to say “tentacle.”
Learn more about our Tentacles special exhibition
"We’re all equal in the Great Tide Pool." In our Days of Discovery program, kids with disabilities learn scuba and explore the underwater world right off our decks! We offer this free program with Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network.
(Photos: Patrick Webster)
Now that’s moody! Watch this day octopus change color three times in 30 seconds.
Learn more about this amazing animal
Happy #FathersDay! Did you know that in the seahorse family, fathers are tasked with carrying young?
These zebrasnout seahorses are currently on display on our Splash Zone!
Did you know that we help rescue and rehabilitate threatened snowy plovers? Birds in distress and eggs that have been abandoned are often brought to the Aquarium. We’ve taken in more this year than ever before: in excess of 20 eggs, and numerous chicks. We’ve already successfully released several in the Monterey Bay area! Learn more in our latest video podcast.
Want to help our oceans? Follow the lead of these students! Young innovators presented year-long projects to reduce plastic use at the Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit at the Aquarium in May. Partnering with NOAA, the Aquarium helps educators develop action-based classroom lessons about marine debris.
Students made an impact in their schools, with results like:
- 90 percent reduction in classroom water bottle waste
- 3,000 reusable grocery bags distributed
- 21,000 single-use plastic water bottles saved from landfills
The High Cost of a Mother’s Love
How much energy does it take a mother sea otter to care for her pup? Quite a lot, it turns out. So much, that the effort of being a mom can put her own life at risk.
That’s the conclusion of a long-term research study just published by scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz; and the Aquarium. It’s based on extensive observations of tagged sea otters in the wild, and others we rescued and raised through our Sea Otter Research and Conservation program.
It’s another vital piece of information about the lives of sea otters—data that’s critical to the recovery of California’s threatened sea otter population.
Recognize it? Our Aviary has come a long way since this 1984 #ThrowbackThursday photo! This slice of sandy seashore is now home to rescued and rehabilitated shorebirds.
Find your favorite feathered friends with our live cam
Ocean Advocate and Supermodel Marisa Miller
Honored at World Oceans Day Celebration
Nine years ago in Monterey, actor Paul Walker helped us celebrate World Oceans Day – sharing his personal connection with the ocean and encouraging visitors to do their part as ocean stewards.
Last Saturday, Paul’s daughter, Meadow Walker, was with us on another World Oceans Day weekend as we presented our inaugural Paul Walker Ocean Leadership Award to Marisa Miller – a Santa Cruz native, supermodel, actress and surfer who, like Paul, is a passionate advocate for healthy oceans.
"I’d like to say how humbled I am to receive this award from Paul’s family," Marisa said. "Paul’s love for the ocean and efforts to help protect it, have always been a huge inspiration to me personally, so it’s a honor to receive this award in his name."
Positive ocean experiences
"I also want to thank the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have been coming to this Aquarium since I was in grade school. It was the field trip my friends and I looked forward to the most. Having these positive experiences at a young age really paved my path to having an awareness for the ocean and its wildlife."
"I’m encouraged to see so many people here today, supporting and celebrating World Oceans Day. The Aquarium’s dedication to programs to preserve and protect our oceans is helping us all to make change."
"Since becoming a mother – my son is 17 months old – I’m appreciating more than ever how important it is to instill awareness, and encourage simple choices that have lasting positive effects."
"I hope we can all feel empowered by that fact that we can make choices and live a lifestyle that bring positive growth to our beautiful oceans. This is how Paul Walker lived his life and paved the way for future generations."
Other ocean award winners
At the ceremonies, we also recognized one of our Teen Conservation Leaders, Ailis Dooner, with a Youth award. This weekend, we’ll present a second Paul Walker Ocean Leadership award to singer and philanthropist Jack Johnson during our 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Ocean. Paul’s brothers Cody and Caleb will be part of the event.
We’re so proud to work with the Walker family, and proud of the contributions that Marisa, Jack and Ailis are making to a future with healthy oceans.