Choose from two field trip experiences

A Discovery Lab & Tour is the ultimate field trip experience with dedicated educators guiding your class through a hands-on lab and behind-the-scenes tour. Choose a Self-guided Exploration if your group has other needs that don’t dovetail with the Discovery Lab schedule.

Discovery Lab & Tour

The best field trip ever! Immerse your students in hands-on lab investigations with live animals and realia. Lab activities support the Next Generation Science Standards. The Discovery Lab is followed by a guided tour of sites at Long Marine Laboratory.

Field Trip Descriptions by Grade Level
Dates & Availability
Discovery Labs will be available Tuesday through Friday from October 2022 through May 2023.

  • October–February: one 10:15 program per day, Tuesday–Friday
  • February– May: two programs per day at 9:00 and 10:50, Tuesday–Friday
Fees
Flat $175 fee for a Discovery Lab & Tour field trip program. Parking paid separately through ParkMobile app.
Duration
  • Approximately 100 minutes for lab and tour.
  • Plan additional time for students to explore the aquarium, shark pool, exhibits, and whale skeletons after your program.
Group Size & Chaperones
  • 32 students maximum per Discovery Lab & Tour—no exceptions. 16 student minimum.
  • Please do not bring any additional students or unscheduled groups. Siblings are not permitted in the classroom during the Discovery Lab.
  • Only five adults total—the teacher plus four chaperones—are permitted inside the classroom during the Discovery Lab. Any additional drivers and chaperones are free to enjoy the exhibit hall, outdoor exhibits, and nature paths. They are welcome to rejoin students for the guided tour. All adults are expected to assist with supervision and appropriate student behavior.
  • We recommend bringing only the number of adult chaperones necessary to transport your students.
FAQ

What times do Discovery Lab & Tour programs start and finish?

Programs last approximately 100 minutes (Discovery Lab investigations last 60 minutes, followed by a 40-minute behind-the-scenes guided tour and wrap-up discussion).

  • 10:15 program (available Oct–Feb), concludes by 12:00
  • 9:00 program (available Feb–May), concludes by 10:45
  • 10:50 program (available Feb–May), concludes by 12:35
  • We encourage you to plan additional time after your program for your class to enjoy lunch and explore the aquarium, shark pool, exhibits, and whale skeletons.

How can I improve our chances of scheduling a Discovery Lab?

  1. Submit your online application in early September, as soon as applications open.
  2. Spring dates are most frequently requested, so plan your program for fall or winter dates.
  3. Double-check that the date you schedule definitely works with your school calendar and transportation arrangements. It is often NOT possible to change your field trip date after it has been scheduled.

When will I find out the date scheduled for my Discovery Lab?

Immediately! Once you have scheduled your program online, we will hold the date and time for you.

What if more than one class from my school wants to schedule a Discovery Lab & Tour? Do we need to fill out separate applications for each class?

Yes. Schedule separate Discovery Lab programs for each class. Class size may not exceed 32 students per program.

If two classes must come on the same day in one bus, what can the 10:50 class do while the 9:00 class is in session?

We recommend that the class scheduled for the 10:50 program enjoy our outdoor exhibits and explore the pathways until the Seymour Center exhibit hall opens at 10:00. Or, enjoy the beach at Natural Bridges State Beach, a short drive up the road. You must call Natural Bridges at least two weeks in advance at (831) 423-4609 for information about how to make reservations and obtain parking passes. Be advised that Natural Bridges has no sheltered areas for eating. Be sure the class is back at the Seymour Center by 10:45 to begin their Discovery Lab.

If my class is scheduled for a 10:50 program, can we come early to explore?

Yes, and please let us know what time to expect you. The exhibit hall opens at 10 AM.

Can we eat lunch and snacks at the Seymour Center?

Yes, we have outdoor classrooms with picnic tables available on a first-come, first-served basis. These covered, open-air shelters provide some protection from wind, rain, and sun for your class. In the event of wet/cold weather, be sure to bring activities for students to do in cars/on the bus.

Are masks and symptom checks required of all participants?

Currently, masks are strongly recommended but not required (as of August 2022). Masking policy is subject to change. All participants should self-assess for COVID symptoms and stay home if not healthy.

Other questions? Email discover@ucsc.edu

Schedule a Discovery Lab
Refunds & Cancellations
You will be invoiced after you schedule your program. Any cancellation made by a group leader after the Discovery Lab has been scheduled and confirmed is non-refundable unless another class fills the space.

Self-guided Exploration

Customize your own experience with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Live animals inspire your students to make their own observations, wonder and develop questions. Knowledgeable docents illuminate how researchers work in the lab and in the field. Students will learn how marine scientists think and work to understand life in the ocean and the ocean itself.

Dates & Availability
Wednesday–Sunday, anytime between 10 AM to 4 PM. 
Fees
$9 per student, $12 per adult. (Title 1 schools receive a 20% discount off total fees.)
Duration
No time limit. Most groups stay 1-2 hours.
Reservations

Book your Self-guided Exploration

Reservations are recommended at least two weeks in advance year-round, and far in advance for spring.

Refunds & Cancellations
Please pay on the day of your scheduled visit. If you need to cancel, any payments received in advance of your visit are non-refundable.
Group Size & Chaperones
120 students maximum

Minimum ratios for (adult:student):

  • K-2 (1:5);
  • grades 3-5 (1:6);
  • grades 6-8 (1:8);
  • grades 9-12 (1:10)

Distance Learning

Bring marine science into your classroom or home with Seymour Center resources.

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