University of Gothenburg
High school students on a boulder shore, with flat sea behind
Evolution & Experiment: High school students collect rough periwinkles on a boulder shore
Photo: Martin Larsvik

Activities for Schools

Every year several thousands of school pupils and teachers visit Tjärnö Marine Laboratory. You can book a shorter guided tour or combine several activities into a marine training module. Some activities are suitable especially for high school natural sciences classes.

Maximum group size is 20 persons. If the class is larger, it is divided into several groups. We can often have two parallel groups. Sometimes we can offer board and lodging to high school classes.

Now and then we have closer cooperation with specific schools, in time-limited projects.

Guided Tour

All year around school classes are welcome to book a guided tour of Tjärnö Laboratory. The tour take count of previous knowledge and interests of the visiting group. The tour can consist of seeing ongoing university education, current research, research vessels, Tjärnö Aquarium and film. We inform about the sea in general, university education, research and marine environmental issues.

Maximum group size is 20 persons. The tour lasts 1.5 hour (for pre-school groups 1 hour). We offer the tours workdays daytime, but if agreed upon groups can also visit during evenings and weekends.

Fees, 1.5 h Guided Tour

per group, excl. 25% VAT
workday daytime: SEK 1200
evening or weekend: SEK 2100

Beach Excursion

From May to mid-October Tjärnö Laboratory offer a beach excursion, where the pupils discover life on a shallow sandy bottom. We bring field equipment (waders, aquascopes, spades, nets, etc.) and a trained marine biologist. However, the pupils are the most active, finding lugworm, sand gaper, common shrimp, shore crab, netted dogwhelk, flatfishes, sand eels, eelgrass etc.

Learn more about sand beach organisms in the Aquascope.

Together with the group, the marine biologist go through the findings and inform about seasonal variation and the importance of shallow soft bottoms to the fishery, for instance.

Maximum group size is 20 persons. The beach excursion lasts 2 hours.

Fees, 2 h Beach Excursion

per group, excl. 25% VAT
workdays, daytime: SEK 1600
evening or weekend: SEK 2800

Research Vessel Excursion

All year around there are possibilities for school classes to book a research vessel excursion with research vessel Nereus, with or without subsequent laboratory studies. Maximum group size is 20 persons.

Research vessel excursion can consist of various moments.

Participants discover stratification through measurements of salinity and temperature at different depths. With a Secchi disc participants also measure turbidity of the water, which is a rough measure of the plankton density. The group can also use water samplers and collect phyto- or zooplankton with different plankton nets. With bottom grab or dredge we collect algae and animals from the bottom.

Activity length is 1.5 hours or longer.

Fee, Research Vessel Excursion

per group, excl. 25% VAT
incl marine biology guide
workday daytime: SEK 2300 per hour

Subsequent laboratory studies

The research vessel excursion can be combined with further studies of collected organisms. This is done in the laboratory, using stereo microscopes and identification literature.

Activity length is 1.5 hours or longer.

Fee, Laboratory studies

per group, excl. 25% VAT
incl. marine biology guide
workday daytime: SEK 800 per hour

Filming in the Kosterhavet Deep

An exclusive excursion is with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipped with a video camera. First, we sample algae and animals with a dredge from a rocky bottom, in order to get in close contact with marine life. Then, we deploy the ROV and film life underneath the vessel. What the camera films is shown in real time on a large monitor on board. In calm weather we film down to 100 metres depth, otherwise on a site protected from large waves where we reach 20 metres depth. A guide explains what we see. Weekdays, daytime.

Price, Filming in the Kosterhavet Deep
excl. 25% VAT
max 15 persons, 5600 SEK, 2 hours
16–30 persons, 10800 SEK, 3 hours

Evolution & Experiment

This activity is available all year around at Tjärnö Laboratory and is appropriate for high school science classes or equivalent. It is composed of equal parts evolution and experiment, using the species rough periwinkle as example.

We visit western shores of Saltö and puts us into life as a rough periwinkle in two different habitats. Crawling, crouching and lying on stomach the pupils sample the two habitat's varieties of periwinkles. At the same time the pupils consider what threats can cause periwinkles to die. In the lab, in groups, the pupils perform different experiments in order to describe differences between the two varieties. This gives training and introduction to scientific methodology. The pupils present orally how they have performed their experiments, their results and speculate what the differences mean in nature. Finally we explain how these differences have evolved through evolution, and what they have seen and studied is an example of how new species can evolve.

Time is 3.5 hours, approximately 1.5 hours in the field and 2 hours in lab. Maximum group size is 20 persons.

Fee, Evolution & Experiment

per group, excl. 25% VAT
incl. marine biology guide
workday daytime: SEK 2800

Teacher training

At Tjärnö Laboratory there are possibilities for teachers to book a teacher training course based on their own preferences. It requires that you register a group. The courses can be a half day or longer, and group size of 5-40 persons. During the course we can also offer board and lodging.

Methodology course: ”Think as a scientist”

We offer a particular three-day workshop in methodology for teachers on all levels. We use the methodology ”think as a scientist” on the yearly youth camp Summer Science Camp.

Teachers attending our workshop will go through the same steps as the youths and carry out a scientific study. Our methodology gives teachers a tool which develops a scientific approach among the pupils. This is emphasized and advocated in the present curricula for elementary, secondary and high school. The participants will practice an alternative strategy to prevalent education, a strategy which encourages and guides the pupils to dare to trust on their own observations and explanations, and do research, i.e. seek new knowledge.

Contact us with questions, for booking and fees.


The Aquascope is a Teaching Material designed for teachers in education. There is a English version available.

Click here to visit the Aquascope.