Open Tuesday - Sunday | 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.*
Closed Monday
*Hours subject to change. Please contact us for Special Event & Holiday hours
Discovery Lab

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Discovery Lab

Discovery Lab programs take place at or near our facility and allow teachers to choose from a variety of fun and informative marine science lessons (see list below).  Custom lessons are also an option and our new Marine Habitat Monitoring Programs (Sandy Beach and Rocky Intertidal) are available this school year. Programs are of varying duration with the following pricing schedule:

  • 1 hour program ($250)
  • 1.5 hour program ($300)
  • 2 hour program ($350)
  • 3 hour program ($450)
  • 4 hour program ($550) - *includes 20 minute break for lunch

*Pricing is per class for up to 30 students. For classes with more than 30 students, please call for pricing.

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If your school is interested in a marine science class, please contact Travis Norton.   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Squid Dissection

By far one of the favorites — Students will learn about various types of mollusks (including squid of course) and their adaptations in the ocean. Working in pairs, the students will identify various organs and parts of the squid and learn how this fascinating animal lives, eats and moves.

Plankton, the Invisible Drifters

Students delve into the world of microscopic organisms as they view the diverse plankton life found in Avila’s waters on our micro-video system. They will also learn about the upwelling phenomenon common off the California coastline and all about food chains and how important plankton are to the global ecosystem. *Often paired with Sink or Float competition.

Sink or Float Competition

Combines nicely with the Plankton lesson in that students will construct their own plankton model based on the features of real life plankton. Students learn how plankton need to be near the ocean’s surface and will learn about the various adaptations they have to achieve that position. Adaptations are incorporated into their model and students test them out to see which model works best.

Water Chemistry

Students become scientists and learn how to measure water density, temperature, salinity and pH. They’ll learn how important the ocean’s chemical balance is to the life below and how scientists keep watch on our ocean's health.

Rocky Intertidal

Invertebrates are the stars of this show. Students will have the opportunity to see and touch local tide pool invertebrates. They’ll learn about life on California's rocky shores and will find out how animals have adapted to living in such a stressful environment. Another favorite!

Marine Mammals

Students participating in this lesson learn what makes a mammal a mammal and what makes marine mammals so special. Students will enjoy a slide show highlighting characteristics of local species and they will have the opportunity to view and touch various education props such as baleen, marine mammal furs, and various bones from dolphin, whales, seals and otters.

Sharks and Rays

Sharks are the number one attention getter at most aquariums. This class will separate fact from fiction and show students what makes a shark especially different from other fishes. Students will get to meet, greet and touch some of our friendly sharks and rays!