kids participating in a rov competition at the thunder bay national marine sanctuary dive tank

Building remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) introduces students to marine technology career paths. In 2014, student teams from 13 countries around the globe gathered at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to put their engineering skills to the test at the MATE International ROV Competition. Photo: Tane Casserley/NOAA

Hands-on Education

National marine sanctuaries are living classrooms where students and teachers can learn about the importance of our marine environments.


girl looking through a microscope

A student participates in the Sanctuary Explorer Program. Through hands-on activities, students learn about the treasures hidden beneath the waves and why they are protected by our national marine sanctuaries. Photo: David J. Ruck/NOAA

girl removing invasive plants

Ocean Guardian Schools make a commitment to the protection and conservation of their local watersheds, the world’s ocean, and special ocean areas like national marine sanctuaries. Here, a student participates in a project to remove invasive species and plant native species on California beaches. Photo: David J. Ruck/NOAA

teachers digging in the mud

Sanctuary education programs work with teachers, students and communities across the nation to make the connection between America’s waterways and our ocean treasures. Here, educators from the Atlanta metro area follow Georgia’s rivers and streams that lead to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary as part of the annual “Rivers to Reefs” workshop. Photo: Gail Krueger/NOAA