Aqua SEAL Program
This program for teens aims to provide hands-on education in the sciences, while also teaching practical skills to safely explore aquatic environments. The scientific themes will range from biology, ecology, oceanography, conservation, and environmental science. Students will also build aquatic lifestyle skills to always know how to safely engage in bodies of water. The educational themes and practical skills will be taught in the classroom, swimming pool, and various ocean environments. The program consists of one orientation, two aquatic sessions, one classroom seminar, two field trips, one intro to scuba pool, and one island boat trip. Each session, the students will learn lifelong skills to explore and enjoy aquatic environments in a safe and exciting way.
Our goal is to show the young generation how to have fun outside safely, teach them about science & nature, and help them become respectful stewards of Mother Earth. We are all aware that electronics are being introduced to youth’s lives from an early age, replacing the practical outdoor learning experiences that older adults had when they were young. This lack of outdoor exposure has been dubbed “nature deficit disorder” (a term coined by author Richard Louv) and has been linked to issues such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, and obesity. Research has shown that spending time outdoors provides benefits such as improving mood and self-esteem, stimulating creativity and imagination, improving attention, memory, and reasoning skills (which can lead to better grades!), and developing social skills and emotional awareness. We believe that physical interaction and connection with nature, rather than through a phone or TV screen, is essential for the successful development of society’s future leaders.
- To spark interest in youth for the aquatic and ocean environments.
- Learn life-saving and wilderness skills.
- Master field competencies that will allow students to comfortably and safely enjoy aquatic environments.
- Develop water confidence and ability to handle the ocean.
- Experience the ocean three ways: intertidal zone on foot, on top of the water on stand-up paddleboards, and snorkeling around offshore islands.
- Observe oceanographical concepts first-hand by visiting the ocean and understanding its magnitude.
- Be introduced to marine biology & ecology through hands-on learning & field outings.
- Practice conservation science and environmental studies.
- Participate in an intro to scuba session in the pool to experience breathing & swimming underwater.
- Explore invertebrate life of intertidal zone, Pacific coast bird life, and marine algae and flora.
1. Classroom Orientation (2 hours)
2. One-on-one equipment fitting appointment and consultation (1 hour)
3. Two 2.5-hour Aquatic Sessions (snorkeling & skin diving) (5 hours)
4. Marine Biology & Invertebrate Identification seminar (3 hours)
5. Tidepool field outing (5 hours)
6. Stand up Paddleboarding ecology trip (5 hours)
7. One intro to Scuba diving pool session (2.5 hours)
8. Snorkeling & educational boat trip to Channel Islands (1 day trip, boat fee separate)
- When signing up, students should make sure they can attend the classroom orientation and 2 aquatic sessions (all held in one week, on weeknights).
- Most other program courses (2 field trips - tidepool trip, stand up paddleboard trip; 1 intro to scuba pool session; 1 marine biology seminar) are scheduled routinely and can be completed in any order, on any date that matches your schedule. The exception is the Island Boat trip, which will be arranged for one weekend in the summer that best fits all participants’ schedules.
- The goal is for all students to complete all 8 program courses before the end of summer.
- Certificate of completion of Aqua SEAL program after participating in all 8 activities.
- Over 35 hours of scientific & outdoor education and activities.
- Scientific education provided by knowledgeable staff biologist.
- Aquatic activities guided and instructed by experienced, internationally recognized leaders.
- 1 hour private equipment fitting consultation.
- All pool and access fees.
- Meals provided on field trips.
- Personal skin diving equipment and wetsuit (Rentals may be available)
- Boat Trip Fee for Island Field Trip ($160~$180)
- Boat crew tips for Island Field Trip
We do not provide transportation to and from activities. We encourage parents to join our field trips and learn with their child(ren). However, if they cannot join, we will need to arrange transportation with another parent chaperone or adult staff member who may volunteer to drive. Parents will be asked to sign a permission slip to allow a volunteer adult to drive and waive any liability.
Classroom Orientation: Ocean Safari Outdoors, 125 E. Las Tunas Dr. San Gabriel (6-8pm)
Equipment Fitting Consultation: Ocean Safari Outdoors, 125 E. Las Tunas Dr. San Gabriel (by appt)
Aquatic Sessions (2): Norman S. Johnson Aquatic Center. 405 S. Santa Anita Ave. Arcadia (7-9pm)
Marine Biology Seminar: Ocean Safari Outdoors, 125 E. Las Tunas Dr. San Gabriel (Time dependent on which seminar signed up for)
Field Trips (Tidepool & SUP): Meeting location and times will depend on the specific outing you sign up for, and will be given out after signing up.
Intro to Scuba Pool: Norman S. Johnson Aquatic Center. 405 S. Santa Anita Ave. Arcadia (7-9pm)
Island Boat Trip: Meeting location and time will depend on the specific outing you sign up for, and will be given out after signing up.