Programs for Elementary and Middle School Students

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science's educational opportunities for the kindergarten through grade 8 arena focus primarily on educators in local school districts, with the goal of helping them and their students to gain science literacy and meet Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) for marine science. Several programs also target K-8 students directly.

Discovery Labs

The monthly Discovery Lab series provides fun, family-friendly experiences and lifelong learning. Each lab focuses on a specific topic through a series of stations that provide hands-on activities for kids and adults. Participants look through microscopes, observe live animals, partake in crafts and games, and view research posters. Both VIMS faculty and students participate as speakers, sharing their research with the general public in an intimate setting. The Discovery Lab Series is hosted by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia (CBNERRVA) at VIMS.

Summer Programs

The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (CBNERRVA) program at VIMS conducts multi-day programs during the summer for students going into grades 1-8. These 5-day programs cover themes such as wetlands, environmental stewardship, and general Chesapeake Bay exploration.

Marine Science Day

VIMS' annual open house is a fun-filled event for the whole family. Join us in Gloucester Point for exhibits, children's activities, seining on the York River, lab tours, seafood cooking demonstrations, mini-lectures, and much more. All activities are free, as is parking. The event proceeds rain or shine. 

Speakers Bureau

The Speakers Bureau at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science provides opportunities to invite VIMS faculty and staff for talks or other outreach activities at your community organization, school, club, business, or another venue.  The topics available are as varied as VIMS research. You may request a scientist to speak to your group about a specific area of research or you can ask us for suggestions. General VIMS presentations are also available for those wishing to learn more about VIMS’ research programs, advisory service, and outreach education.