School Programs

Student collects a water sample to test for nitrates.

Education in an environmental setting encourages students to think critically and creatively, and effectively guides them in learning about the relationship between human actions and their impact on the natural world. Our school programs are based on curricula aligned with Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) and Environmental and Sustainability Education Standards.

ESC strives for a ratio of one instructor for every 13 students in the field in order to provide high quality instruction and personal attention for every student as well as to meet teachers’ requests for specific curriculum emphasis. Typically, a one hour classroom session is followed by a 1.5- or 3-hour inquiry-based field program at a location such as Seahurst Park or the Normandy Park Cove.

Online registration forms are available at the bottom of each program listing.

*For schools with more than 50% of the student population on free or reduced lunch, please inquire about our program cost fee reduction/waiver and transportation subsidies. For schools with a Free & Reduced Lunch Rate of 50% or greater, transportation subsidies and fee reductions and waivers are available. 

Beach Heroes

March – June

ESC Naturalist explaining crab behavior to students.
ESC Naturalist explaining crab behavior to students

Classroom Presentation & Field Study

The Beach Heroes program introduces students to the local Puget Sound beach habitat and the organisms that live there.  This year, we are very excited to welcome you back to the newly-restored Seahurst Beach!

During the 1-hour classroom visit, students will learn proper beach etiquette and stewardship while learning about marine invertebrates and their relationship to the beach habitat and the other living things with whom they share their home.  During this NGSS-correlated lesson, students will create field guides they will use during their field study.

The 2-hour field study features both naturalist-led beach exploration and structured activities, during which students will learn all about the habitat restoration of Seahurst Beach!

The fee for this program is $150 per class (30 students or fewer) and includes the one (1) hour classroom session with a naturalist and the two (2) hour beach field study with two naturalists.  For schools with a Free & Reduced Lunch Rate of 50% or greater, transportation subsidies and fee reductions and waivers are available.  Our sliding-scale fee structure is detailed on our registration form.  For more information about registration fees and bus reimbursements, contact

To register your class please  fill out the registration form from our Beach Heroes Page.


 Salmon Heroes

program photo 4


The Salmon Heroes Program includes a 1-hour classroom lesson, a 3-hour guided field study investigation, and a 1-hour post-field study classroom lesson.  (Recommended for Grades 4-8).

Classroom Lessons & Field Study Investigation:  During the 1-hour classroom lesson, students will engage in hands-on, NGSS-correlated activities that explore the habitat needs of salmon – as well as the challenges to survival that salmon face – during each stage of the salmon life cycle.  During the 3-hour field study, students review the salmon life cycle, learn external and internal anatomy, collect water quality data, learn about the changes that the local community made to their behaviors in order to make the Creek better habitat for salmon, and then play a large-group game that mimics the challenges salmon face in making it back to their spawning grounds.  During the post-visit, students analyze the water quality data they collected in the field and compare it to previous year’s data, and to data collected from a different local creek. Students will then evaluate different actions that people can take in order to lessen their impact on salmon population health.

Location: Classroom visits are held at your school.  One visit will be scheduled for before your field study; one classroom visit will be scheduled for after your field study.  Field studies take place at Normandy Park Cove, the convergence site of the Walker/Miller Creek watershed.

NEW THIS YEAR: The ESC has revised the format of the pre- and post-field classroom visits for this year!  Rather than receiving a presentation, during their classroom visits students will engage in hands-on activities that cover the same content as previous years, but presented within the framework of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Busing: You need to arrange and pay for transportation for this field trip.  Registering multiple classes within a grade level is strongly encouraged.  There is an opportunity for bus reimbursement for schools that have a 50% or greater free/reduced lunch rate.  Please contact Programs Manager Kasey Dolin for more information regarding bus subsidies.

Cost:  $350 per class of 30 students.  This includes the 1-hour classroom visit, the 3-hour field study, and the 1-hour post-field study classroom visit.  If your school has 50% or greater free/reduced lunch rate, you will pay a reduced program fee of $70 per class of 30 students.  If your school as 80% or greater free/reduced lunch rate, your program fees will be waived.  Please contact Programs Manager Kasey Dolin for more information regarding program fee subsidies.

Billing: An invoice will be sent to you when your registration and scheduling process is complete.

Chaperones: During the field study, you will need to provide 4 chaperones for each class.

To book Salmon Heroes: Please fill out the entire registration form from the Salmon Heroes Webpage.  Feel free to email any questions to Programs Coordinator

Confirmation: You will receive a confirmation upon receipt of your registration, and further instruction about your program details via email.


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