Career Exploration Initiative

WAVE Foundation at Newport Aquarium’s FREE Career Exploration Initiative is bringing STEM careers to life!  Our three new CEI Programs will give you a peek behind the scenes at the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at work every day in Newport Aquarium. If you are ready to immerse yourself in hands-on STEM activities to help prepare you to make informed career and education choices, check out the information below and contact us today!

Who can attend? CEI Programs are open to students currently in 1st grade-undergraduate studies. Space is limited for this program and slots are filled on a first come, first serve basis.

What will I experience on a Career Exploration Initiative program? Depending on the program option you select, you will receive an extensive and hands-on behind the scenes experience of how science, technology, engineering, and math work together at Newport Aquarium. Program options include:

Women in STEM: Join WAVE as we dive deep into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at Newport Aquarium! This experiential program will increase young women’s interest in STEM, educate about STEM careers in zoos and aquariums, and introduce them to relatable STEM professionals at Newport Aquarium. Through hands-on use of technology to monitor water quality, calculate and prepare animal diets, and engineer aquatic life support systems, students will understand the STEM principles that go into professionally caring for our ambassador animals.

Husbandry & Research: Get a firsthand look at what it’s like to work in a zoo or aquarium, by assisting aquarists with daily routines of diet preparation, life support systems engineering, and animal socialization. Go behind the scenes in our live foods room, learn positive reinforcement training methods, and conduct an ethogram focusing on our famous shark rays while learning what it takes to work hands on with our incredible ambassador animals.

Conservation Biology: Discover how biologists at Newport Aquarium use science to save species every day through Species Survival Plans, Rescue Rehab and Release programs, and partnerships with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and SANCCOB. Track a released sea turtle, extract DNA to better understand a species, and examine real tags used to monitor animal behavior.

When do CEI programs take place at the Aquarium? CEI programs can be scheduled Monday- Saturday at either 8-11am or 4-7pm.

Is there a fee? No! We are proud to offer this program at no cost thanks to grant funding.

How do I register? Email our Conservation Education Coordinator at to schedule your FREE program today!

What should I bring? CEI program participants are encouraged to treat this experience as an emerging professional, so we request that your dress reflects a job interview setting (collared shirt, khaki pants, and close toed shoes). Sandals and flip flops are not permitted in any behind the scenes area of Newport Aquarium. Please be prepared to make the most of your experience by bringing questions you would like to ask, your resume if you have one, and/or a notebook to write down tips and ideas. And of course, don’t forget your camera!

“Just wanted to pass along my appreciation to you for setting up the visit for Kenzie. She has not stopped talking about the experience since we left on Friday. It added more fuel to her burning passion of pursuing a career in Marine Sciences, for that I am very grateful!”