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For Teachers

Classroom Programs

Students at Sea
Project Kai - Ocean-Oriented Field Trips
Oceans Live
Sanctuary Education Publications
NMSP Education Offerings

Classroom Programs

Students at work
Over 15,000 students have participated in sanctuary programs for throughout the islands, which include classroom instruction, after-school activities, and visitations to its education center in Maui. Groups can customize their visits to the Kīhei Visitor Center by requesting learning stations that cover a wide range of topics including the National Marine Sanctuary System, humpback whales, turtles, seaweed (limu), Hawaiian fishponds, the inter tidal zone, Hawaiian culture, and inter tidal monitoring activities.  The sanctuary also provides school visits by sanctuary education volunteers and staff.


Student learning in fishpond
Student programs at Maui site

Students at Sea

Education cruise photo
In addition to its normal role as a vessel dedicated to research in Hawai’i, the NOAA ship Hi’ialakai has taken on a new task by providing a platform for students to learn about our islands from an ocean viewpoint. For the past three years, the ship has scheduled week-long cruises dedicated to education in the main Hawaiian Islands. On each island visited, forty high school students and teachers spend a day at sea participating in marine biology and oceanographic activities. The focus of these cruises is to introduce students to marine related careers, from marine biology and oceanography to NOAA shipboard opportunities. Future goals of this program include live broadcasts back to the classrooms from the ship, teacher workshops on the ship, and shore visits to the ship for younger students.

For information on how to get your students involved contact us at:

Vessel on Hiialakai
Students at work on education cruise

Project Kai - Ocean-Oriented Field Trips

Education program at Maui site

Project Kai seeks to provide field trip opportunities to students to learn about Hawaii's ocean and natural resources. The project, a partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program and Kokua Hawai'i Foundation, encourages environmental stewardship by connecting children to the land and the ocean that sustains them through in-the-field educational programs and activities.

With regular field trips beyond the resources of most educators and school systems, Project Kai serves as a model for how communities can support meaningful learning that allow students to gain first-hand exposure to science while developing a stronger awareness for the importance of the ocean in their own backyards.

Project Kai will provide financial assistance to Hawai'i schools which otherwise could not afford to participate in educational environmental field trip opportunities. The Kokua Hawai'i Foundation oversees coordination of Project Kai by accepting applications and awarding financial assistance to Hawai'i schools to participate in meaningful environmental field trips to support NOAA's education mission and provide in the field marine curriculum lessons to Hawai'i students. Learn more.

Education program at Maui site
Education program at Maui site

Oceans Live

Oceans Live Website graphic

Oceans Live Website Graphic


NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program the nation's underwater ecosystems to the American public by linking existing system-wide oceanographic monitoring programs with interactive telepresence technology.

Developed in conjunction with partners including the JASON Foundation for Education, Mystic Aquarium, the Institute for Exploration, and Mote Marine Laboratory; telepresence technology allows individuals to experience up-close the wonders of these special marine areas without ever getting their feet wet.

Using underwater cameras, telepresence uses a live, interactive video feed to support distance learning programs, exhibits in aquaria and visitor centers, and Web-based learning tools.

Teachers, visit Oceans Live now to take part in exciting education activities!

Sanctuary Education Publications Whale Tail Kids Logo

Find information to help your students with school projects and also find fun activities in the Sanctuary library. Look for the whale tail for special student information.

National Marine Sanctuary Program Education Offerings

Ocean Guardian Kids Club


Find out how to make your classroom an Ocean Guardian Kids Club classroom! Learn about the club, download an activity book and more!

Teachers visit the NMSP's Education website for more offerings!


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