Schools & Groups

Both indoor and outdoor programs are available at the Center throughout the year. You can also choose to have us bring a program to your school or group’s facility. All programs can be altered to meet the needs of any age group, group size, time frame, or budget.

Marine Science and Coastal Programs for Schools and Groups

The Seacoast Science Center is the ideal setting for your environmental education field trip. Located in Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, New Hampshire, there are seven different natural habitats and 135 acres to explore. Live animal and interpretive exhibits inside the Center reinforce learning.

Program options include:

  • On-site Outdoor Programs
  • On-site Indoor Programs
  • Outreach Programs
  • Virtual Field Trip Programs

All SSC on-site programs include:

  • Up to 25 students per group (cost indicated is per group cost)
  • Trained instructor/s to lead and teach the program
  • Admission to the Seacoast Science Center and Odiorne Point State Park for all students plus 1 teacher/chaperone per 8 students
  • Use of Park facilities, which include nature trails, historic WWII fortifications, seven different natural habitats, scenic picnic areas, fields, and a playground.

Download our Marine Science and Coastal Program for Schools and Groups Brochure

Inquiries

To Schedule Your Program

Please complete our School and Group Inquiry Form and we will contact you or, contact Sarah at 603-436-8043, ext. 20 or registrar@sscnh.org. We will make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most of your visit.

Your invoice is the formal confirmation that your program is scheduled. When you receive your invoice please be sure all dates and times are correct. Allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

Please read all confirmation materials and communicate the information to teachers and chaperones. Full payment is required before your program begins.

Cancellation Policy

Programs are taught rain or shine; consult the materials sent to you for appropriate clothing. If SSC cancels a program and is unable to reschedule, you will be fully refunded. If you cancel a program 20 business days prior to your program date, you will receive a 50% refund. “No shows” and cancellations made fewer than 20 business days prior will not receive a refund.

Financial Assistance

Assistance may be available for groups with financial constraints. Please call 603-436-8043, ext. 20 to inquire and request a School Program Fund application form.

Our Programs

Grades K-5

Indoor and Outdoor Programs

 

Rocky Shore Exploration
Outdoor Program
Length: 1 or 2 hours
Cost: 1 hour: $175; 2 hours: $215
This introduction to the diverse and dynamic rocky shore habitat will excite and inspire your students. The program begins with a mini-lesson on the unique ecology of the rocky shore intertidal zones, followed by a naturalist-led tide pooling session. Students will learn how to best observe, identify, and classify organisms through guided exploration. Educators receive the Rocky Shore Exploration Teacher’s Guide to assist with field trip planning and classroom activities. The 2-hour program includes extended outdoor exploration and teaching time with your naturalist.

School of Hard Rocks
Outdoor Program
Length: 45 min.
Cost: $150
Odiorne is the ideal spot to make the study of geology come alive for your students. This program begins with a presentation that illustrates the rock formation cycle, tectonic plate movement, and the impact glaciation had on New England. Students will learn how to identify rocks, examine rock formations outdoors, and see evidence of glacial activity.

Sharks Alive!
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
Sharks are one of Earth’s most amazing and dynamic fish. In this program, students will learn about shark anatomy, behavior, and their acute senses that make them one of the ocean’s greatest predators. Students will observe and touch live sharks at our Close Encounters touch tank.

Save a Seal
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
Seals come on to the beach to rest and soak up the sun. But what happens when a seal is in distress and in need of rescue? Students will learn all about the common species of the Gulf of Maine, find out how our Marine Mammal Rescue Team responds to seals on the beach, and perform a mock rescue. Student will earn a “seal of approval” bookmark after learning how to protect marine mammals.

A Whale of a Program!
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
SSC’s marine mammal exhibit has the largest collection of skeletons in northern New England. In this program students will learn about the anatomy, life cycle, migratory routes and behavioral patterns of humpback whales. Fantastic images, interactive games, and the 32-foot skeleton of a humpback whale named Tofu, make this program unforgettable. Students will test the effects of a blubber-glove and touch real whale bones.

Marine Animals Magnified
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
In this program, students will use a variety of microscopes and magnifying lenses to closely observe sea stars, green sea urchins and blue mussels. Students will learn about the anatomy and behavior of each animal and create their own scientific journal to illustrate their observations.

Coastal Critters
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
This indoor program focuses on the physical and behavioral adaptations of rocky shore plants and animals that enable them to live in a habitat with constantly changing tides, salinity, and temperature. After participating in a rocky shore ecology lesson, students have the opportunity to observe and hold live animals.

PreK-K

Indoor Program

 

Tide Pool for Tots
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $175
In this indoor program students learn about intertidal animals through games, activities, and role-playing. Children will observe and handle live animals. They will learn how sea stars eat, where urchins live, how crabs crawl, and how their own actions on land impact ocean health.

Outreach Programs

For Early Learners

 

School of Hard Rocks
Rocks are exciting and can tell us a lot about our planet. This program includes hands-on activities that teach children about different types of rocks found in New Hampshire, how to classify them, and how rocks are made.

Raspberry the Box Turtle
This program is a favorite! Box turtles have a carapace with a hinged bottom, allowing them to draw their body inside and “close the door!” But Raspberry is bright, alert and loves to open his shell and walk around for children to observe.

Indoor Tide Pooling
How does a sea star eat? Where do urchins live? How do crabs crawl? Why do snails have “trap doors?” During this program, children will observe and touch several different intertidal animals. Games, activities and role-playing will reinforce learning.

The North American Lobster
Lobster are mysterious looking creatures that live on the ocean floor. Once you learn about them, they are not so scary! In this program children will learn how lobsters move, how they use their big claws to eat, how they protect themselves and how fishermen catch them.

Hermit Crabs
Hermit crabs are fascinating creatures! When they outgrow the shell they are living in, they have to leave it and find a bigger one. What do you think a hermit crab looks like without a shell?

All About Whales
How big do whales get? What kinds of whales live near us? Why do some whales have teeth and others have baleen? All About Whales teaches children about these enormous, fascinating marine mammals. Hear the life story of Tofu, a young humpback whale who lived right here in the Gulf of Maine. Students will participate in hands-on activities, including testing the effects of a blubber-glove and touching real whale bones.

Program Cost
Programs are 1 hour in length, for a classroom size group (up to 25 students), and cost $150 plus mileage. Two 1/2 hour programs may be offered if you prefer to have your students in smaller group sizes. A discount will be applied if you schedule multiple programs; please inquire.

Download our Outreach Programs for Early Learners flier.

Grades 6-12

Indoor and Outdoor Programs

 

Rocky Shore Exploration
Outdoor Program
Length: 1 or 2 hours
Cost: 1 hour: $175; 2 hours: $215
See description under programs for Grades K-5; content will be adjusted to meet grade level.

Ocean Acidification
Indoor Program
Length: 1 hour
Cost: $195
Learn how increased emissions of atmospheric CO2 are altering the seawater carbonate system and decreasing
 the pH of the ocean’s surface waters. What are the causes and consequences of this complex issue, and how might 
it affect marine life? Explore the links between changing ocean chemistry and human activity, and consider how the health of the ocean affects human health. Most importantly, students will learn ways to help reduce their carbon footprint and become stewards of the sea.

Seasons of the Sea
Indoor Program
Length: 1.5 hours
Cost: $250
Just as there are seasons on land, there are seasonal changes in the sea. In this program, students will be introduced to the concepts of upwelling, phytoplankton blooms, and seasonal migration. They will learn how scientists observe changes in the sea and use actual data sets to predict trends. Students will gain an understanding of why the Gulf of Maine is one of the most productive ecosystems in the world.

A Whale of Comparisons
Indoor Program
Length: 1.5 hours
Cost: $250
Stop! Look! It’s a skeleton! There’s the rib cage, vertebrae, a skull… There are an amazing number of anatomical similarities between marine mammal species and humans. Using real seal and dolphin bones, students will “reconstruct” skeletons and learn about the species’ form and function.

Outreach Programs

K and up

 

Save a Seal!

Seals come on to the beach to rest and soak up the sun. But what happens when a seal is in distress? In this program, you will learn about the common species in the Gulf of Maine, find out how our Marine Mammal Rescue Team responds to seals on the beach, and perform a mock rescue. Participants earn a “seal of approval” bookmark.

Raspberry the Box Turtle

This program is a favorite! Box turtles have a carapace with a hinged bottom, allowing them to draw their body inside and “shut the door!” But Raspberry is bright, alert and loves to open his shell and walk around.

Indoor Tide Pooling

How does a sea star eat? Where do urchins live? Why do snails have “trap doors?” In this program, participants will learn about the rocky shore habitat and the animals that live there.

The North American Lobster

In this program, participants will learn how lobsters move, how they eat, how they protect themselves, and how fishermen catch this iconic species of coastal New England.

All About Whales

How big do whales get? What kinds of whales live near us? Why do some whales have teeth and others have baleen? In this program, you’ll find out everything you wanted to know about these fascinating marine mammals. You’ll learn about the life story of Tofu, a young humpback whale who lived right here in the Gulf of Maine. Participants can feel the effects of a blubber-glove and touch real whale bones!

Program Cost:
Standard programs are 1 hour in length, for up to 30 participants, and cost $150 plus mileage. Two ½-hour programs may be offered if you prefer smaller group sizes. A discount will be applied if you schedule multiple programs; please inquire.

Custom Programs

All ages

 

Design a program to meet your specific needs.

Did not find what you were looking for? We will design a program to meet your specific needs using one of the programs listed below, or a topic of your choice. You can also choose three or four program topics for your students to experience on a rotating schedule during your visit. Come for the day or just for a few hours and experience all the Center and Park have to offer. The possibilities are endless!

Mysterious Woods: Explore Odiorne Point State Park and take advantage of all the teachable moments. From animal track identification, to bugs, plants and remnants of military fortifications and old homes, there is so much to explore. You can even have your students build a survival shelter.

Weather: Students will learn how the ocean influences our weather and how various weather systems impact coastal communities.

Connect with Mount Washington Scientists: Compare sea level data and weather system data from Mount Wash- ington’s summit. Students will talk with a scientist at NH’s highest point and learn about the tools being used to collect data. This is a live distance-learning program.

Aquarium Care and Maintenance: Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Center’s aquarium systems, learn how we care for our animals, and observe feeding time.

Integrated Arts and Science: Learn and create! This program introduces students to marine science through fun, interactive learning and then guides them through a creative process that reinforces learning, culminating with a final art project.

Virtual Field Trips

All ages

 

Let the Seacoast Science Center come to you!

We can deliver innovative, content-rich programs right to your classroom! We can travel to you* or connect to your students via computer.

Cost depends on program length and mileage.
*restrictions apply

Explore on Your Own

All ages

 

If you would like to bring your class or group to Odiorne Point State Park without including a naturalist-led program with the Seacoast Science Center, you must register as an Explorer Group. You can include a visit to the Center by scheduling an Exhibit Hall time.