For Students

drawing of a sundfish and jelly fish
The annual marine art contest challenges students to create artwork depicting sanctuary species. This winning piece shows an ocean sunfish and a lion's mane jelly. Art: Ella H., gr.9, Newton South HS.

Spark your creativity and sense of wonder with activities that connect you to the ocean! The sanctuary offers learning experiences to expand your horizons through science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. The sanctuary education program encourages you to be advocates for this special ocean place.

Marine Art Contest

A student draws a marine fish based on local species
A student draws a marine fish based on local species. Photo: Anne Smrcina/NOAA

Each year, the sanctuary co-sponsors a marine art contest for K-12 students with the Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) organization with the theme of "Exploring Marine Biodiversity in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary." In 2020 the contest changed to electronic entries. MME member institutions provide prizes for the winners, and all winning art is posted in the marine art gallery. View the most recent contest brochure.

Stellwagen Eco-Cycles Game

This online game uses music and sanctuary species to show the interconnectedness of the sanctuary ecosystem. Find out how whales (and whale poop), small fish, seabirds, and plankton are linked. Choose between various human activities to create a healthier sanctuary environment. An accompanying video provides guidance on playing the game and gives a more in-depth look at issues affecting the well-being of animals in the sanctuary.

Ambassadors Program

a Student ambassador showing a lobster to a young child
Student ambassadors work in their communities and raise awareness about the sanctuary. Photo: Anne-Marie Runfola/NOAA

Students, ages 15 and up, are invited to join our volunteer Sanctuary Ambassadors Program, in which they learn about the resources of the sanctuary, teach others about those treasures, and participate in stewardship programs. Visit our volunteer page for more information.


Although the sanctuary does not offer a formal paid internship program of our own, we host students who have been awarded internships from outside sources at the college and graduate school levels. Unpaid volunteer internships have been supported for high school and college students under the direction of sanctuary staff members in education, outreach, research, facilities operation, and data management roles.

Student Classes and Research

a teacher and students putting a bouy in the water of off the deck of the boat
Students have built ocean drifters, and in this case helped launch an official NOAA drifter, off the R/V Auk. Photo: Anne Smrcina/NOAA

The sanctuary encourages students to participate in afterschool programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math, like the annual ROV (remotely operated vehicle) competition, building a drifter, and independent research. The sanctuary participates in science fairs, when possible.

The sanctuary is developing formal partnerships with educational institutions in the region, including Boston University Marine Program (undergraduate marine research course) and the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research (high school research – STREAM to Sanctuary: Certificate of Watershed Stewardship).