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Connect virtually with Academy educators from your home or classroom! Distance Learning livestreams bring our experts, animals, and collections to students over the internet—and all programs remain free of charge during the pandemic.

Free livestreams for K-8 students nationwide

Academy educators holding puppets used in Distance Learning programs.

Our programs are open to all K-8 students wherever they are set up to engage in remote learning this fall—be that in a classroom, at home, in a learning pod, or at a community learning hub.

Each livestream is a 30-minute lesson taught by professional educators, which is broadcast for free to YouTube. Kinesthetic movement is included to keep students physically engaged, and many events feature hands-on activities that students can do at home while tuning in. Teachers or adult guardians must register in advance for their student(s) to participate.

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Register now for upcoming livestreams!

Programs are designed to serve specific grade levels, yet are welcome to all who register.

October 1 or October 15 | Our Solar System and Beyond (Grades 6-8)
10:30 am PT for English-only presentation

  • Explore the worlds of our solar system and discover what makes each one unique! From tiny terrestrials to giant jovians, the planets nearby are shaping our understanding of the Universe beyond.

October 6 - 22 | 3-part Series: Spooktacular Science (Grades 3-5)
10 am or 11 am PT on Tuesdays for English-only presentation
10 am or 11 am PT on Wednesdays for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Which do you find most spooky: bugs, bones or guts? Can you think of why each of these are important to study? During this science unit we will focus on each of these topics to solve a larger mystery of a decomposing skull found by scientists.

October 9 | Science Storytime: Pierre the Penguin (Grades K-2)
10 am PT for presentation in English
11 am PT for presentation in Spanish

  • What happens when an Academy penguin gets sick? Read along with an Academy educator to learn about what happened to one of the aquarium's most famous residents, Pierre the penguin!

October 27 | Mission to the Moon (Grades K-2)
10:30 am PT for English-only presentation

  • Join a planetarium presenter to explore how cultures around the world observe the Moon, and take an imaginary journey to the Moon’s surface.

November 13 | Waddle Like a Penguin (Grades K-2)
10 am PT for English-only presentation
11 am PT for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Discover how the unique adaptations of African Penguins help them to survive in their ocean habitat. Students will waddle and swim like a penguin while observing our live penguin colony.
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Mark your calendar for future student livestreams

We suggest you join our Educator E-newsletter to receive word in your inbox when registration opens for any of the following events.

November 3 - 19 | 3-part Series: Coastal Redwoods (Grades 3-5)
10 am or 11 am PT on Tuesdays for English-only presentation
10 am or 11 am PT on Thursdays for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Sessions will likely explore how redwoods trees are able to grow so large and live for so long compared to other tree species.

November 6 - 20 | 3-part Series: Solar System Explorations (Grades 3-5)
10:30 am PT on Fridays for English-only presentation

  • Students will explore the questions: What makes up our solar system? How do astronomers observe it and plot the motions over time? What parts of the Solar System can I see with my own eyes from my own home?

December 1 | Mission to the Moon (Grades K-2)
10:30 am PT for English-only presentation

  • Join a planetarium presenter to explore how cultures around the world observe the Moon, and take an imaginary journey to the Moon’s surface.

December 1 - 17 | 3-part Series: 'Tis the Season for Science (Grades 3-5)
10 am or 11 am PT on Tuesdays for English-only presentation
10 am or 11 am PT on Thursdays for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Topics will likely include seasonal birds and their migrations in San Francisco Bay, and comparing that to the seasonal migrations and adaptations of reindeer.

December 3 or December 17 | Our Solar System and Beyond (Grades 6-8)
10:30 am PT for English-only presentation

  • Explore the worlds of our solar system and discover what makes each one unique! From tiny terrestrials to giant jovians, the planets nearby are shaping our understanding of the Universe beyond.

December 11 | Art & Science (Grades K-2) 
10 am PT for English-only presentation
11 am PT for English-Spanish bilingual presentation

  • Nature is a muse that inspires artists and scientists to imagine, design and create their work. Students will find their own inspiration from nature, and learn how to scientifically sketch a natural object.
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Registration has closed for the following livestreams

If you missed the registration window, don't fret! Recordings will be posted on the program website within 48 hours for asynchronous viewing.

September 22 | Mission to the Moon (Grades K-2)
Consider joining one of the repeat presentations on October 27 or December 1.

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Who participates in Distance Learning from the Academy?

Map of the schools in the United States who participated in Distance Learning programs from 2014-2020.

Classrooms, libraries, and homeschool families have connected with our educators. We've served groups from around the county, and have even delivered programs to students abroad!

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Sample recordings of past events

Click on the program title to access the recording and any materials needed. These recordings can be used for classrooms or individual students at home.

Teacher Tip: There will be pauses during the recordings to make observations or think about a question. Think about how you would like student to share their ideas/observations/questions with you during theses times.

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We Thank Our Donors

Student Education programs and activities are generously supported by the Hearst Endowed Fund for Science Education; Barbara Bakar; and Wendy W. Kwok.

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