marine biology experiments
Education,  Finance,  Learning Resources

Easy Marine Biology Experiments and At-Home Activities For Every Budget

With at-home marine biology experiments, anyone can be a scientist, no matter the budget or expertise. For instance, many picture a scientist wearing a lab coat and goggles, but anyone—even someone lounging on a couch in pajamas—can engage in science. All you need is curiosity, questions, and a desire to learn.

Are you an aspiring marine biologist? Trying to save money while also investing in education? Maybe you’re a parent trying to get your child more involved in science? Dive into marine biology with these experiments and activities all while sticking to your budget.

If you’d like to learn about majoring in marine biology, check out this article.

Disclaimer: For all our younger scientists out there, always check with a parent, guardian, or teacher before attempting any experiment. Safety is key.

marine biology experiments
Science is about asking questions

Explore Marine Biology Experiments on How To Smile

Geared towards educators and at-home learners, How To Smile features thousands of conveniently curated science activities from all over the web. For example, you can search by topic and then break down all the experiments and activities by prep time, age level, and overall cost. Thankfully, this will help with narrowing what kind of experiments fit your budget.

With a broad collection of “Ocean Literacy” resources, How To Smile guides ocean enthusiasts through topics, such as marine biology, oceanography, geology, climate science, and ecology. If you’ve ever wanted to design hydrodynamic plankton and race them or build a hand-held ocean and study what happens during an oil spill, How To Smile can help.

To get you started, check out this low-cost experiment on erosion.

Let NOAA Teach You the Ropes

As you pursue a career in marine biology, you’ll find yourself frequently reading and referring back to NOAA. Because NOAA will be such an essential part of your career, it’s important to get accustomed to all its resources, like those on its “Experiments and Activities” page.

Here, you’ll find marine biology experiments and activities covering topics, such as climate science and oceanography. While you navigate this page, make sure to check out “Discover Your World With NOAA,” “Hands-On Science Activities,” and “JetStream: An Online School For Weather.”

With dozens of experiments to choose from, you’ll surely find one in your budget range. For example, explore the relationship between water salinity and density in this low-cost experiment.

If you’re interested in marine mammals and want to learn how they stay warm in chilly marine environments, try out this experiment. Maybe you want to try something more advanced? In that case, consider making your own underwater robot!

marine biology experiments
NOAA ship | Photo by NOAA

Connect with Aquarium Educators

Even as some aquariums remain closed during Covid-19, many aquariums continue to share enriching marine biology experiments online. When you’re looking for an intriguing way to pursue marine biology and stay on budget, check out these aquarium resources:

Aquarium of the Pacific

If you’re a younger scientist (grades k-8), take a peek at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s webcam resource kits. Perhaps, you’d like to know more about sharks. In these exercises, you’ll have an opportunity to watch sharks in action and work through guided activities. If that’s not your cup of tea, maybe kelp forest ecosystems pique your interest. In that case, check out this guided lesson about kelp forest conservation.

California Academy of Sciences

Packed with science resources, the California Academy of Science’s “Science @ Home” program features marine biology experiments and videos focused on topics, like coral reefs, swamps, and penguins. To further explore marine biology at home, check out these experiments and lesson plans. For instance, if you’d like to learn more about coral reefs, check out this experiment for grades 2-6. Alternatively, if water management interests you more, try this experiment for grades 3-5.

Georgia Aquarium

Want to learn more about dolphins, alligators, or mangroves? Check out Georgia Aquarium’s “Deep Sea Learning” on this page. Here, you can watch informative videos and work through guided marine biology experiments and activities. Additionally, you can follow lesson plans designed for grades k-12 with topics ranging from oil spills to sustainable seafood. Start your journey with this experiment about tsunamis.

marine biology experiments
Georgia Aquarium | Photo by Ian Schneider

Monterey Bay Aquarium

With parent-led activities designed for all grades (pre-k-12), the Monterey Bay Aquarium covers topics, such as kelp forests and ocean plastic. For instance, the Monterey Bay Aquarium can lead you through a plastic use audit, so you can evaluate your plastic consumption (grades 9-12). Check out more of these topics if you’d like multi-day marine biology lesson plans.

New England Aquarium

Interested in building a deep sea vent? Maybe you’re looking to take your child tide pooling for the first time? If so, visit the New England Aquarium’s “Fun Activities for Kids” page. Here, you’ll find several marine biology experiments and activities with topics ranging from sea otters to fishery science. To start off, check out this marine biology experiment about why certain bodies of water don’t freeze.

Shedd Aquarium

Whether you’re looking for fun facts about penguins, turtles, sharks, or fish, turn to Shedd Aquarium’s “Stay Home with Shedd.” Firstly, Shedd will share with you how to make a science journal, so you can keep all your observations handy and organized. With Shedd’s videos and guided activities, you’ll find yourself learning more about the natural world and its inhabitants. For instance, birds play a major role in marine ecosystems. To explore penguin biology and your local birds, give this activity a try.

marine biology experiments
Keep a science journal | Photo by Kelly Sikkema

Next time you feel glued to Animal Crossing or your new PlayStation 5, try out a few marine biology experiments! And, if it’s your child who’s showing interest in marine biology, get them involved early. No matter your budget, there are numerous opportunities in marine biology. A whole sea of information awaits.

Interested in learning more marine biology from home? Check out this article.

Lastly, if there are any other marine biology experiments you’ve tried at home, please share and comment below!

Hi, I’m a San Diego-based blogger who's passionate about marine biology, finance, and science communication. Having recently graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelor's in marine biology, I am now working on a certificate in science communication. Over the years, I’ve worked in laboratory research and science outreach at aquariums, zoos, and environmental research centers. When I’m not writing, you can find me home brewing, tide pooling, skydiving, playing DnD, or hanging out with my two adopted guinea pigs. Reach out to me anytime, and follow Sand Dollar Wallet!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.