With our on-site educational programs canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Crystal Cove Conservancy and Crystal Cove State Park have launched new distance learning programs!  These virtual education programs immerse science learners of all ages in exploring Crystal Cove’s diverse ecosystems, partnering with scientists to help with ecological research, and solving design challenges, all from the safety of your home.

 Virtual STEM K-12 Programs

During our virtual STEM education programs, teachers and students are invited to assist with real research in Crystal Cove State Park!  As you help UC Irvine, Crystal Cove State Park, and Crystal Cove Conservancy monitor our underwater ecosystem or study the best way to restore Moro Canyon, you’ll learn about how we can use science ideas to protect our wild places.

Our virtual STEM Education programs include:

Elementary School

  • Virtual Project Crystal (5th Grade): During this online program, participants partner with Dr. Kimball from UC Irvine to investigate the best type of mulch to use in order to help native seedlings grow.  This program also includes options for virtual field trips.
  • Explore at Home Investigations (2-5 Grade):  These short standalone investigations invite students and their families to use a science journal as they explore in and around their home!  Materials are provided in English and Spanish.

Middle & High School

  • Virtual Project Crystal Code (Middle School): How can we use technology to protect our wild spaces?  Virtual Project Crystal Code builds on ideas from Project Crystal as participants use coding and build sensors to investigate how mulch decomposes.
  • Virtual MPA Science Exploration (Middle & High School): Help us monitor the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area and determine how the ecosystem there is changing!
  • Virtual Coastal Dynamics (Middle & High School): Step into the shoes of an environmental engineer as you help us understand how Crystal Cove’s beaches are changing and what we can do to protect them!
  • Environmental Challenges (Middle & High School): In each of these standalone activities, students analyze real-world data from a monitoring project in Crystal Cove State Park. Different challenges address NGSS Science & Engineering practices, including designing a model, using computational thinking, and testing and evaluating a solution.

If you are a teacher and would like to incorporate our programs into your own classroom, please fill out our survey here to let us know.

Family Community Science

You might not be able to make it all the way to Crystal Cove State Park, but you can still explore it from home!  During Summer 2020, Crystal Cove State Park moved their Junior Rangers program online, including crafts, Jr. Ranger videos, scavenger hunts, virtual hikes and more. With each Junior Ranger program, we’ll be sharing a community science project that you and your family can help with from home or a park near you!

Animal Evidence 




Virtual Summer Camp

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy to explore the world of plein air art from home!

During this nine week course, you’ll learn how to think like a plein air artist as you practice breaking down a photo into a drawing or painting.  The program is designed for all ages (even adults!).  We’ve tried to design it so that even the most beginning artist can participate — even if the only tool that you have at home is a ballpoint pen or a marker.

To participate, all you need to do is find your favorite artistic tool and get started!

Sea Glass Wrapping

Wednesday sea glass wrapping in the Historic District’s Commons has been a popular activity at Crystal Cove for nearly a decade. Because this activity is temporarily unable to meet in person, we’ve offered a virtual version instead! Enjoy the videos and use your own materials, or purchase one of our kits!

Coloring Pages

Explore Crystal Cove State Park’s natural and cultural history from the safety of your home as you express your artistic side and add a splash of color to these scenes.


State Parks employee filming a videoPORTS Videoconferencing Programs

California State Parks’ PORTS program is offering free Home Learning Programs for students stuck at home and excited to learn!

In the coming weeks, PORTS will be featuring live K-12 programs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Participants must sign up in advance, and participation is limited.

Visit http://ports-ca.us to see the weekly schedule and sign up!




California State Parks Resources

We might not be able to visit parks as easily right now, but Orange Coast District’s interpretive team
is committed to bringing the parks to Southern Californians!

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