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The Sant Ocean Hall presents the global ocean from a cross-disciplinary perspective. The Ocean and the Sant Ocean Hall intersect with curriculum topics from Biology, Geology, Anthropology, Physics, Weather, and other science themes. When students explore the Hall, they have first-hand access to unparalleled scientific collections of the Museum, as well as ongoing research in marine science.

The Hall and the associated resources are designed to help your students understand Ocean science through the eyes of scientists. The resources will also help students to make personal connections to the Ocean – no matter where they live.

Expand Your Experience:


For Field Trips

Educator's Guide - PDF (Download Acrobat Reader)

Engage your students in the search for evidence addressing their own questions with guided preparation for their visit to the Sant Ocean Hall. Activities are differentiated for students in grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Connections to National Science Education Standards and Ocean Science Literacy Principles are included.


Beyond the Classroom

Ocean Portal

The Ocean Portal is the third pillar of the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Initiative along with the Sant Ocean Hall and the Sant Chair of Marine Science. These pillars were developed to hold up the Smithsonian’s mission to increase the public’s Ocean understanding and stewardship. Check out the Educators' Corner for lesson plans, activities, and more.

Listening for Right Whales

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, with only 350 surviving. Introduce your students to the work of researchers who use sound recordings to study and help protect these majestic giants.


For the Classroom

Ocean Science at the National Museum of Natural History

Students can explore the marine collections of the Museum, explore field stations where our scientists collect specimens and conduct research, and discover the marine science program.

Beaked Whales Identification Guide

See whales as you have never before seen them in the Beaked Whale Identification Guide.

5 Simple Things You Can Do for the Ocean

This list presents some common – and not-so-common – ways for students to learn how they can help preserve the Ocean and its diversity for future generations.

Jellyfish Romance

This article presents the surprising and fascinating reproductive activity of these soft-bodied animals.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Animal Guide

The Monterey Bay Aquarium showcases marine life in the Monterey Bay and beyond. With a 28-foot-tall giant kelp forest, sea otters, penguins, and many more marine creatures, it's an excellent place to see ocean wildlife up close. Students can learn about the animals and their habitats through the aquarium’s online field guide.


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