Calling all future marine biologists and ocean stewards! Ocean Heroes, formerly called Kids Club, is an after school program designed for children ages 8-13 that engages them in marine science through interactive lectures, games, arts and crafts. This fall we have lot of exciting new activities planned including: hands on lab activities, guest speakers, and offsite excursions. Monthly activities correspond with different and exciting ocean themes designed to teach about the marine environment and ocean life.
Ocean Heroes includes Sea Lion Stewards (ages 8-10 years old) and Elephant Seal Ambassadors (ages 11-13 years old). Ocean Heroes meets once a month from 4pm-6pm from October to May.
Ocean Heroes will embark
on an amazing quest to explore our ocean ecosystem from the tiny algae to the majestic gray whale. We will investigate our connection with our marine world through hands on marine science labs, guest presentations, and optional offsite stewardship projects.
Throughout the program these newly appointed ocean stewards will learn an incredible array of information, including:
We are all connected! 70% of the earth’s oxygen is produced by marine plants including plankton, algae, and kelp. Through the lens of a microscope we will take a closer look at tiny plankton that are the foundation of our marine food web. We talk with an expert to discuss how algae is helpful but also how they can become harmful when it grows out of control.
What can the presence of different animals tell us about the ocean’s health? Many fish, such as sardines also consume plankton. Sardines are food for our friends the sea lions, consume plankton for their meals. How do we know seals and sea lions eat sardines? We will dissect a fish to discover what small bone in its body is used by scientists to determine ‘seal meals’ when looking at ‘deposits’ our furry friends leave behind on the beach!
Why is PMMC’s veterinarian so interested in the ‘deposits’ sea lions leave behind? Learn what samples we get from the sea lions and what they tell veterinarians. Hear about what a day in the life of a marine mammal veterinarian is all about! PMMC’s veterinarian, Dr. Kris, will be on hand for a special chat about why she loves her job.
How have sea lions and dolphins adapted to living as a mammal in the ocean when most other mammals live on land?
How do environmental engineers use information like this about the animals to protect the environment on the front lines? We talk with some scientists and conduct lab activities to find out!
Why do marine mammals strand? How does PMMC try to help large whales before they strand? Join our Director of Conservation Research, Keith Matassa, to chat about what our whale rescue team and our conservation scientists do. Learn how we can help whales in our everyday lives through our seafood choices. Learn what research PMMC is doing and try it yourself!
What marine mammals frequent Southern California waters and where can we see them?
We will talk with some whale and dolphin researchers to see how and what they learn about the animals. Then we will take behavioral observations of our patients here at PMMC and learn how researchers conduct marine mammal research studies in the wild.
In May, we take offsite excursions to explore the wonders of the ocean! Ocean Heroes will have the chance to participate in a free optional field trip to the beach to explore the small creatures that inhabit tide pools, learn how to identify them and understand why they are important. Ocean Heroes will have the opportunity to attend a whale watching trip and use their new behavioral observation skills to aid in PMMC’s citizen science (additional fees apply).
*Photo Credit: Mark Girardeau & Roxy Grant
Ocean Heroes 2018-2019 tentative schedule:
Friday, October 5, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Friday, December 7, 2018
Friday, January 11, 2019
Friday, February 1, 2019
Saturday, March 2, 2019* (Parade)
Friday, April 5, 2019
Friday, May 3, 2019* (Tide Pooling)
Friday, May 10, 2019* (Whale Watching)
NOTE: The first Saturday in March is the Laguna Beach Patriot's Day Parade, and in May we will take an offsite excursion!
*ages 8-13 years old
What people are saying about our afterschool program
100% of evaluation respondents felt the program activities were highly engaging