STEM Exploration - Field Trips at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center
STEM and Outdoor Science Education Activities at Associated Students of San Diego State University’s Mission Bay Aquatic Center
We offer a variety of STEM activities aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Principles of Ocean Literacy. Each activity lasts 1 hour 15 minutes. We offer each activity individually or can combine 2, 3 or 4 activities for a half or full day of fun and learning at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center.
Sample 4 Activity Field Trip Schedule:
9am-9:15am – Arrive MBAC
9:15am-10:30am- Activity 1
10:45am-12pm – Activity 2
12pm-12:45pm – LUNCH BREAK
1pm-2:15pm – Activity 3
2:30pm-3:45pm – Activity 4
4:00pm Depart MBAC
Possible Lesson Plans: Choose 1 to 4 options
- Measuring Wind - Students will discuss how wind is produced and measured before designing and building their own anemometers to collect sample data at various locations.
- Buoyancy - Students will discuss the principle of buoyancy and then will plan, design, build and test clay vessels to hold the most amount of ballast.
- Water Quality/Think Like a Scientist- Students will learn to think like a scientist while exploring the different characteristics researchers look at when testing water quality. Using the different tools and techniques that scientists use to measure salinity, temperature, turbidity, specific gravity and pH, students will develop a hypotheses and then test and compare the water quality here at the Mission Bay Aquatic Center.
- ROV Design Challenge - This hands-on activity explores the tools and challenges researchers confront to explore the deep ocean. Students will work as a team to plan, build, and test their own underwater remote operated vehicles. Finally, students will get to deploy their ROVs to explore the underwater area adjacent to MBAC. This activity will focus on the circular experiential learning model by encouraging students to plan, test, reflect, modify and test again.
- The Ocean, Clean Water and You!- In this activity students will explore the relationship between humans and the ocean through hands-on games and an activities. Students will learn about the impact humans are having on the ocean through an interactive watershed model as well as activities illustrating how long common trash items take to decompose and how small changes can have dramatic impact. They will learn what steps they can take to in their own life to ensure clean oceans as well as how to encourage others to do the same.
- Sail Design - In this activity students will discuss how a sailboat can harness the wind before designing and creating their own sails for a rain gutter regatta.
- Sail Area and Perimeter - Students will measure and calculate the sail area and perimeter, as well as test Pythagorean's Theorem to calculate the leech of sail.
- Simple Machines - Students will learn the different simple machines and will collect data and to calculate purchase and work of various pulleys. Time permitting the activity will also include a simple machines scavenger hunt at the Center.
- Microscopic Mysteries - In this activity students will get an up close look at the bays smallest animals. They will start by conducting a plankton tow to catch the microscopic organisms living in the bay. They will then learn about how to use real microscopes before using them to examine and identifying the plankton they caught. Students will then play a hands-on game illustrating how these tiny organisms can have a large impact on the ocean ecosystem.
- Seining for Science – Instructors will help students use a seine net to catch small critters so that students will get an up close look at the animals living right in our backyard. They will discuss the adaptations these animals have that allow to them thrive in the ocean and learn about how to identify different fish and invertebrate species.
- STEM And Ocean Literacy Games and Fun – In this activity students will learn various Principles of Ocean Literacy through games and hands on activities. Possible games include:
- How Long Till It’s Gone- Students will explore how long it takes various common objects to decompose after it is thrown away.
- How Long Am I?- Students will take part in an activity to visualize how long various sea animals are. How many students long is a blue whale?
- Fish Frenzy – In this game students explore the relationship between the large the number of people, the tighter the availability of resources. Students will chart their data each round to visualize this concept.
- Paddle Clean-Up - In this on the water activity students will do their part to promote clean water by jumping in kayaks and paddle boards to conduct an on-the-water beach clean up while recording data of items collected.
- Sailing! Putting it all together on the water - In this on-the-water activity students will discuss the forces that make sailing possible before heading out to experience sailing first hand.
STEM and Marine Science Field Trip Rates
1 Activity Field Trip
$35/student (1- on-the water-activity)
2 Activity Field Trip
$45/student (1- on-the water-activity)
3 Activity Field Trip
$55/student (1- on-the water-activity)
4 Activity Field Trip
$65/student (1- on-the water-activity)
Please contact us to schedule a field trip for your classroom!