School Programs (available October-June)

The Centre offers a range of environmental and science education programs for all schools in the Greater Victoria district and beyond. From September through June experience programs incorporating hands-on and inquiry-based learning focused on the Salish Sea ecosystem.

Preschool Programs (Max capacity 20 students) *Minimum age is 3 yrs old



Meet the hermit crab, as he looks for a new home. Along the way along students will learn facts about hermit crab food, protection and shelter through storytelling, games and hands-on, hands-wet learning. Please note this program is delivered entirely in the Ocean’s Heartbeat classroom. Includes live animal ambassadors.
Program Length: 45 min


Primary Programs, Grades K – 2 (Max capacity 22 students)


Pod Squad

What is a marine mammal? Join us on a journey to explore the most iconic marine mammal in the Salish Sea – the Killer Whale. Students will investigate communication, echolocation, and photo-identification, along with what makes our resident killer whales endangered and how we can protect them. Please note: this program takes place entirely in the Ocean’s Heartbeat (Classroom).
Program Length: 1 hour

Habitat Detectives *Not available at this time

Investigate three ocean habitats —eelgrass/sandy shores, rocky intertidal and pelagic. Students will go on a guided exploration through these habitats. Along the way, students will learn what animals call these habitats home and what adaptations they have to enable them to live there. This is a junior version of Habitat Heroes.
Program Length: 1 hour


Feeding Frenzy

It’s lunch time! What do seastars eat? How does an urchin eat? Students will learn the answers to these questions and explore three consumer types—hunters, trappers and grazers. Through hands-on learning and interactive activities, students will identify consumer types of Salish Sea animals. Some microscope work included.
Program Length: 1 hour


Intermediate Programs, Grades 3 – 5 (Max capacity 28 students)

SAlish Sea Safari *coming soon

Investigate three ocean habitats — eelgrass/sandy shores, rocky intertidal and pelagic. Students will go on a guided exploration through these habitats and learn about the animals that call them home. Focus is on animal adaptations. Students will learn which of these habitats is most threatened and how they can protect it. Conservation concerns affecting Salish Sea habitats will be discussed.
Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Killer whale tales

Discover marine mammal biodiversity in the Salish Sea with a special focus on the endangered Southern resident killer whales. Students will learn to identify local marine mammal species and explore killer whale biology, behaviour and conservation through hands-on activities involving echolocation, photo-identification, and communication. 
Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Fish Forensics *Not available at this time

A river otter has been caught eating a fish! Students will act as biologists and investigate what species of fish the otter was eating. By learning fish anatomy, examining fish scales, and discussing fish habitat types, students will solve this mystery. Conservation concerns and sustainable fishing practices will be discussed. Students will work in teams. Microscopes are used in this program.
Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Don’t see something suitable for your class? Self-guided visits are available. See below for details.

Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Grades 6-8

Watch this space
Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Watch this space
Program Length: 1 hour 15 min

Secondary Program, Grades 9 – 12 (Max capacity 28 students)

Marine Invertebrate Zoology

Students will discover the biodiversity of the Salish Sea through taxonomic classifications. A closer look at living and preserved specimens will showcase the characteristics and adaptations of the Phylums Cnidaria, Mollusca, Arthropoda and Echinodermata. This program includes hands-wet time at the touchpool.
Program Length: 1 hour 30 min

Self-guided Visits 

Classes are always welcome to come on their own for a self-guided visit. To avoid over-crowding, please book your visit time as you would a regular program. Cost and chaperone rates of self-guided visits differs from school programs noted above. Visit our Group Bookings page for more details.

A variety of scavenger hunts are available. Please request at time of booking (or click here to print your own!). Alternately, teachers may design their own scavenger hunts to meet the needs of the class.

Booking Information


$6 (+ tax) per student, minimum $90 (+tax) fee.

One teacher is admitted free with every class.

School program chaperone ratio is as follows. One chaperone is admitted for free for every 5 students (Grades Preschool—8). One chaperone is admitted for free for every 10 students (Grades 9-12). Other adults are admitted at a rate of $12 (+ tax). 

Full payment is expected upon arrival. Payment can be made by cash, cheque, debit or credit card.



Email: to make your group booking.

Phone: 250.665.7511

Please have the following information ready

  • TWO choices for dates and times

  • Program choice, grade level and number of students and adults

  • Teacher and school information—address, phone and email

Click here to view ‘Tips for a Successful Field Trip’