As part of the Marine Protected Area Outreach and Education Small Grants Program, the Crystal Cove Conservancy turned their MPA Science Cruise program into a virtual curriculum for teachers to use for free! The full curriculum for the new virtual MPA Exploration can be found on their website here:

More information from the website:

“During this virtual marine science education program, middle school and high school students take part in ecological monitoring in the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area, helping us understand how the underwater ecosystem there is changing!

The MPA Science Cruise originally launched in 2012 as a partnership between Crystal Cove Conservancy, Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Landing Sportfishing, marine researchers, local teachers, and students to monitor the Crystal Cove SMCA and see how it is changing over time.  Since then, student-analyzed data has become an integral part of our monitoring efforts every year.

In the 2020-2021 school year, our updated version of the MPA Cruise is now designed for students to participate from home or in hybrid classrooms.  The educational curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards for middle and high school. The curriculum includes ten lessons, each lasting 45-60 minutes.  It challenges students to work in research teams to help us protect our local State Marine Conservation Area.  During the program, they’ll learn more about California’s Marine Protected Area system, design a collaborative model, help record and analyze data for several monitoring projects, and then use science communication skills to share their findings with different audiences.

Depending on COVID restrictions, you can also join our Teacher Learning Community and book a boat excursion field trip with our partners at Newport Whales to take part in on-the-water monitoring in the spring.

If you would like to apply to our Teacher Learning Community and scholarship fund for the MPA Cruise field trip, please complete this form.”