Help your students learn about whales!

The Museum's Exhibit Hall is a great way for schools, camps, service organizations, travel groups and large families to receive a personal introduction to the whales of the Pacific Northwest. Led by Museum educators, tours provide a unique experience that enhances your group's understanding and appreciation of whales and the marine habitat.

Arrange a visit to The Whale Museum, the first museum in the United States dedicated to whales living in the wild!

Each educational program includes a Museum Tour -- an excellent opportunity for your group to receive a personal introduction to the whales of the Salish Sea. Let our Museum educators provide a unique experience that enhances your group’s understanding and appreciation of whales and the marine habitat.

For information on Group Tours only (without one of the programs below), please visit our Group Tours page for guided and unguided tour rates.

Educational Programs

We offer a variety of educational programs for adults and students to learn more about whales, our local Orcas, and the marine ecology of the Salish Sea. Be sure and visit our "Educator Resources" page for downloadable information you can provide your children or use in your classroom.

Most programs are around 45 minutes to one hour in length (allow an additional 30 minutes for the tour):

Southern Resident Killer Whales

From an Endangered Species to a Thriving Population: During this engaging and interactive program, kids can learn about the biology, ecology, social structure, behaviors, endangered status, threats, and conservation measures surrounding our local orcas. They will learn about the federal recovery plan for these animals, then they will then be asked to take a pledge promising to do their part to help the Southern Resident Killer Whales.

Cetaceans of the Salish Sea

This program is a fundamental introduction to the natural history of whales found in the inland waters of the Salish Sea. The class begins with a slide show and continues in the Exhibit Hall of The Whale Museum with life-size models and articulated skeletons of whales. Students will also learn about under water acoustics, see whale brains, and hear different marine mammal sounds.

Acoustics Lab

This lab highlights The Whale Museum’s Acoustic Research that began in 1983 in the lighthouse at Lime Kiln Point State Park. Whenever the Orcas pass by the hydrophones (underwater microphones) in front of the lighthouse they are recorded, along with boats, ships, and anything else making under water noise.

Students learn about echolocation, the differences among Orca vocalizations, and about underwater noise and its effect on whales.

The Orca ID Lab

This is a great activity to help students understand how the Southern Resident Community of Orcas in the Salish Sea can be identified by paying attention to field characteristics and specific physical marks on each whale. The Orcas in this area are some of the best known whales in the world, especially now that they have received endangered classification under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

The Gray Whale Project

The Gray Whale Project is a popular education program at The Whale Museum that began in 1995. Students participate in engaging activities that lead them on a path of scientific discovery about gray whales and their biology, as well as the relationship between humans and whales.

Efforts to complete the skeleton stimulate discussion of comparative anatomy, marine conservation, museum techniques, mythology, environmental ethics, whaling and more. Whales are impressive and fascinating animals for students to study. For educators, whales can provide an underlying theme for the integration of whale biology with more general scientific concepts such as comparative anatomy, food webs, invertebrate biology, science technology, and oceanography.

Puget Pinnipeds

Come learn about these amazing flipper-footed marine mammals at The Whale Museum. Students will understand the natural history of these animals through an interactive slide presentation, hands-on pelts and skulls, and activities. The presentation is followed by a visit to our Exhibit Hall.

Program Fees

The following programs are $75.00 for scholastic or nonprofit organizations, $100.00 for the general public:

  • Southern Resident Killer Whales: From an Endangered Species to a Thriving Population (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)
  • Cetaceans of the Salish Sea (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)
  • Puget Pinnipeds (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)

The following programs are $100.00 for scholastic or non-profit organizations, $125.00 for the general public:

  • Gray Whale Project (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)
  • Orca ID Lab (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)
  • Acoustics Lab, with field trip to Lime Kiln Point State Park (max: 30 including chaperones, no minimum)

Make A Reservation

Fees may be paid in advance to secure the date and time of your choice. Methods of payment accepted are Purchase Order, Online (credit card or PayPal), or check by mail.

Please contact Cindy Hansen, Education Curator, at 360-378-4710 ext. 23 or email cindy@whalemuseum.org for further information, to book your program and for payment details.

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