Recreation and Tourism Management

Aquatic Center Field Trips


Our Center offers year-round field experiences for your school groups. We offer single day STEM experiences for grades 4-12. Each program is customized by you, creating a unique experience for your unique class(s). We offer a variety of MODULES, each aimed at different NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS and each using the CALIFORNIA SCIENCE FRAMEWORK as a road map to guide powerful learning experiences. Each Module is facilitated by our STEM Instructors, all of whom are boating instructors, Red Cross Lifeguards, and waterfront safety facilitators. 

We believe that Outdoor Education is the best way to re-engage students to exciting, applied, STEM practices, but we know not every class is ready to jump into canoes, kayaks, and sailboats to start taking water samples. All our modules are taught as a progression, using a variety of learning environments: (1) Indoor Classroom, (2) On Docks, (3) On the Beach, (4) On-Water in boats, (5) Outside learning space. All our Modules keep the NGSS - SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PRACTICES in mind along with using the 5E MODEL 

Science and Engineering Practices 
1. Asking questions and defining problems 
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking 
6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering) 
7. Engaging in argument from evidence 
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

5E Model
Engage- students' prior knowledge accessed and interest engaged in the phenomenon
Explore- students participate in an activity that facilitates conceptual change
Explain - students generate an explanation of the phenomenon
Elaborate - students' understanding of the phenomenon challenged and deepened through new experiences
Evaluate- students assess their understanding of the phenomenon

Explore the Modules below that list the following information: 
Student Capacity
Learning Objectives
Safety Information
Pre-Field Experience Ideas for your Classroom 

After you have decided on the Modules you would like, please fill out the reservation form below

Reservation Form

*We are always available to facilitate a more personal consultation process and provide additional details at 661-257-0571 or at AquaticCenter @

Module A. Kayaking and Paddle Boarding - Boating Safety

On Water Activity - Students will get the opportunity to paddle canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards in the protected 'Paradise Cove' of the Castaic Lake Lower Lagoon. CSUN Lifeguards and Boating Instructors will facilitate these learning experiences from what to do near the water, preparing for boating, wearing your life jacket, and how to paddle your boat. Students will get the opportunity for hands-on practice under direct supervision, at our private CSUN only paddling beach, and controlled flat water spaces. 

Grade Lvl- 4th + 

Time allocation- 1.5 Hours 

Max Students - 30

Learning Objectives- 
- Learn to be safe on and around the water
- How to choose, fit and wear life jackets
- Floating strategies with life jackets
- How to control and maneuver your boat
- What to do in the event of an emergency

Why? - Not only does boating represent an empowering, lifelong skill and hobby, but learning to do so correctly can help create a responsible, safe, healthy recreation mindset. Directly interacting with a waterway also introduces a new element of stewardship and ownership to a natural resource. Students who go through an educational boating workshop are more likely to become better stewards of the resource that they now have a concrete relationship with. Outdoor Recreation has direct ties to Social-Emotional Learning. Students are provided a new space outside of the classroom and away from the schoolyard to interact with each other and to learn about themselves. The STEM Application of a single outdoor activity can be referred back to for an entire school year. Paddling alone can be cross-connected to in-class lessons such as principals of Buoyancy, Forces and Motion, Energy, Relationship between Energy and Forces, Definitions of Energy, Wave properties, Weather and Climate, Natural Resources, and Human Impacts on Earth Systems.

Module B - Remotely Operated Vehicles

Classroom and Waterfront Activity (No boating) - Students will learn about the design process, as form their own 'companies' tasked with designing, building, and piloting their very own Remotely Operated Vehicle to perform a series of tasks in the lake. These small teams will have complete control over the final product as our instructors provide them the tools and resources, before letting them creatively explore on their own. Own PVC, ROV kits are easy to build, a breeze to pilot but can be redesigned and perpetually improved as they complete our challenges. 

Grade Lvl - 4th +

Time allocation- 1.5 Hours 

Max Students - 30

Learning Objectives- 
- Practice 'Conceptual Modeling' as we play with components (parts of the system) connections (how they interact) and their relationships (how can solve problems)
- Use the Design Process to solve real-world problems using physical tools and resources

Why? - The NGSS and STEM tell us that cross-cutting or connecting, concepts is key to lifelong STEM mastery. Designing, building, and testing ROVs will allow students to explore, new technologies, apply previous mathematical thinking, and engineer a physical product to scientifically address and try to solve real-world problems. 

Pre Field Experience Ideas for your Classroom - 

Have students research the deep-sea environment. What is it like in terms of light, temperature, pressure, bathymetry. Discuss how the environment might affect the way you would build an ROV.

Have students research the history, development, and use of ROVs. What are some of the ways they are utilized? How does the particular use affect the design?
Website with video footage of Oregon Underwater Volcanoes captured by ROVs
NOAA Ocean Explorer Website with lesson plans, video footage, and photos of ROV exploration
Labeled Diagram of a ROV from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Other ROV Related Lesson Plans


Module C - Kayak and Canoeing - Questing, Investigating and Collecting Data in Reservoirs

Classroom and Waterfront Activity (Boating) - Conducting experiments Students will learn how to safely maneuver canoes and kayaks, with the purpose of heading out onto the water to take depth readings. Collecting data by boat is an empowering process that takes students from first-time learners, to directly to applying knowledge toward completing a scientific objective. As a group, we will come up with a collective set of questions about the phenomena of reservoirs. Student groups have complete control about the questions they ask as we explore the depth of reservoirs, turbidity, other qualities of the water that LA uses for public consumption. Using instruments and tools we will guide students in collecting and interpreting self-collected data as we try to answer their questions together! 

Grade Lvl - 4th + 

Time allocation- 1.5 Hours 

Max Students - 30

Learning Objectives- 
Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations 
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Why? The Science and Engineering practices lay out the skills and processes students should know for success in STEM fields. Additionally, the language and concepts we cover are in line with the NGSS and developed based off test questions. 

Module D - Dams and Watersheds

Outdoor Classroom and Waterfront Activity (No boating) - Castaic Lake is the terminus for the California State Water Project (CA Aquedute) and a water source for the greater LA area. This unique SoCal landmark makes for the perfect location/engineered phenomena to explore for students to learn about local water systems and their connection to Castaic in particular. Students will embark on a hike to an overlook of the dam where they will construct a collaborative, conceptual model. After we will make our way to the beach to engineer our own system of water storage as we discuss the mechanisms of these systems and the real-world impacts that affect us today. 

Time allocation- 1.5 Hours 

Max Students - 60

Learning Objectives- 
Developing and using models
Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
Engaging in argument from evidence
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Why? The Next Generation Science standards prescribe a 5E Instructional Model for student success. Our hike, observation of the dam, and activities explicitly target these goals.
ENGAGE: The purpose of the ENGAGE stage is to pique student interest and get them personally involved in the lesson, while pre-assessing prior understanding.
EXPLORE: The purpose of the EXPLORE stage is to get students involved in the topic; providing them with a chance to build their own understanding.
EXPLAIN: The purpose of the EXPLAIN stage is to provide students with an opportunity to communicate what they have learned so far and figure out what it means.
EXTEND: The purpose of the EXTEND stage is to allow students to use their new knowledge and continue to explore its implications.
EVALUATE: The purpose of the EVALUATION stage is for both students and teachers to determine how much learning and understanding has taken place.



Module E - Social Emotion Learning Hike (Community Building and Team work games)

Outdoor Classroom and Waterfront Activity (No boating) - Student success is not entirely measured by standardized tests, and we have yet to meet a standardized student. The trend of non-cognitive / social-emotional learning skills entering the classroom is a trend that we absolutely love. We believe that there is no better place to learn about, and practice social-emotional learning skills that away from the traditional classroom. Your class will embark on a hike as we stop along the way to introduce and explore SEL components via traditional teambuilding activities. These self-reflective and community-building games will have students working together and thinking critically as they collaborate to complete tasks. 

Time allocation- 1.5 Hours 

Max Students - 30

Learning Objectives- 

SELF-AWARENESS - The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a wellgrounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”
 Identifying emotions
 Accurate self-perception
 Recognizing strengths
 Self-confidence
 Self-efficacy

SELF-MANAGEMENT - The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.
 Impulse control
 Stress management
 Self-discipline
 Self-motivation
 Goal setting
 Organizational skills

SOCIAL AWARENESS - The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to
understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
 Perspective-taking
 Empathy
 Appreciating diversity
 Respect for others

RELATIONSHIP SKILLS - The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively and seek and offer help when needed.
 Communication
 Social engagement
 Relationship building
 Teamwork

RESPONSIBLE DECISION-MAKING - The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of the consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the wellbeing of oneself and others.
 Identifying problems
 Analyzing situations
 Solving problems
 Evaluating
 Reflecting
 Ethical responsibility

Why? Educators know that holistic student success is a true goal of education and successful self, and social management skills directly link back to academic success. Classroom culture and students ability to navigate emotions and social settings are important and some of the most valuable learning educators can help them to gain! 


Module F - Lead your own session

You are an incredible teacher with years of experience, a master of progressive lesson planning, a deep knowledge of your classroom culture, the needs of your students, and have the initiative to boldly forge your own path. Use our STEM equipment, SMART classrooms, outdoor teaching spaces, docks, and other green space to lead your own lessons. Our staff are happy to support you in any way! 

Example Itinerary

Times are flexible depending on your transportation, group size, learning objectives, etc. Please share your perfect vision for the day as we customize our events for you! 

Two Class, Full Day program (50 youth) 

10:00 - Arrive at the CSUN Aquatic Center
10:15 - Welcome and Objectives for the Day (SEL Activity) 
10:30- Rotation 1
Group 1 (30 students) - Module A Boating Safety (Canoes, Kayak, Paddle Boards)
Group 2 (30 students) - Module B Remotely Operated Vehicles
12:00 - Lunch *not provided by CSUN
12:30 - Rotation 2
Group 1 (30 students) - Module B Remotely Operated Vehicles
Group 2 (30 students) - Module A Boating Safety (Canoes, Kayak, Paddle Boards)
1:45 - Group Debrief
2:00 - End of Program! 

Fee Structure

CSUN Aquatic Center maintains comprehensive standards with red cross certified lifeguards, and extensively trained staff as boating instructors, lifeguards, STEM facilitators, social-emotional learning teachers, and highly competent educators. Our programs operate at a cost-recovery model in order to provide the staffing support to facilitate the safest, most effective programs possible.

Cost for programs are calculated by: 

1- Total Number of students
2- Total Number of Modules / Total Time 

Programs typically cost between $300 - $1050 and roughly equate to $15 per student. For a formal, personalized, quote please complete the short reservation link

Safety, Risk Management, and Required Documents

Safety is our number one priority whether we on in the classroom, on the beach, hiking, or kayaking. 

All CSUN Staff and program Facilitators have the following qualifications and certifications:
Background Check and LiveScan Clearance
Red Cross Lifeguards
American Canoe Association PaddleSport Safety Facilitators
BSA Youth Protection Trainings
Project WET Next Gen Science Standards Curriculum and facilitator training

All visiting organizations are required to enter into any Agreement and provide proof of Insurance and all participating adults and youth will complete a CSUN Waiver.