Every May, Kindergarten through 8th grade students participate in an immersive learning experience focused on marine science. Each year there is a new theme, and classroom teachers explore different subtopics. Students move from classroom to classroom, learning and applying their knowledge, through observation, experimentation, playing academically enriched games. Upper middle school students, parents and local experts collaborate to teach key concepts.

Ocean Shore’s Oceans 411 program integrates Next Generation Science Standards and California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts with interdisciplinary STE[A]M lessons. The Oceans 411 curriculum is created or adapted by classroom teachers and middle school students. Lessons are modified to be accessible to various age groups and learning styles.

What’s in it for the community?

Students and families who participate in Oceans 411 gain knowledge of, and respect for our marine environment that will last a lifetime.

Numerous students have pointed to Oceans 411 as their inspiration for stewardship, subsequent advanced degrees, and/or careers in marine and environmental sciences.

The hard work of students, their parent volunteers and the teaching staff benefit the broader community both environmentally and aesthetically year round.

Watch our new OCEANS411 video produced by Adrian Smith.


A Brief History:

Over 25 years ago, Penny Keating – a parent in Pacifica’s Alternative School, created “Oceans Week” based on her belief in the importance of educating children living so close to the ocean about the marine environment. Parents and teachers committed to the “Oceans Week” idea have kept it alive and thriving for over two decades. First spearheaded by Virginia Szczepaniak after Penny and her children graduated out of the school, and currently led by Sheila Gamble-Dorn. The Alternative School is now Ocean Shore School and “Oceans Week” has grown and developed into a year-long program known as Oceans 411. Oceans 411 is an award-winning and grant-winning signature experience of Ocean Shore School beloved by students, parents, teachers, and the surrounding community.