TIDES was developed collaboratively between Ocean First and Ocean First Education in 2009 to connect students to the ocean, regardless of where they live. This immersive experiential program combines confidence-building scuba diving, classroom science, and fieldwork to give students an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience that increases achievement and agency while creating a deeper connection with the natural world. 

How does it work?

TIDES is a versatile program that allows students to enter at any grade and even the most ambitious will find themselves challenged throughout the program. TIDES is either conducted through one of our partners, which include private, public, and charter schools, dive centers, and third-party organizations, such as homeschool co-ops, or directly at Ocean First in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more about our two, four, and six year programs here. 

Bringing TIDES to your school

Interested in bringing TIDES to your school? We work with private, public, and charter schools around the country and have developed six years of programming, so students can start as young as 12! See a list of our current partners here. What's more, TIDES is incredibly flexible and modular, affording schools a variety of ways to implement the program, ranging from an after school club to a full-blown science elective that meets daily. Please email info@oceanfirsteducation.com to learn more about starting a TIDES chapter.

Dear TIDES instructors, thank you for helping make my dreams come true. I have wanted to scuba dive ever since I first heard about the sport. Thank you so much for educating and guiding me as I learned about the underwater world and for making this dream a reality. - Baylie T, age 13

What do students learn? 

As part of TIDES, students study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and receive real-life experiences in marine research and scientific diving. These place-based learning opportunities provide a window into the careers of marine scientists, technicians, and field researchers. Students will practice critical thinking and data analysis, which together introduce them to the process of asking questions, defining problems, and carrying out investigations into real-world settings.

In the classroom, students begin by investigating the seven principles of Ocean Literacy through courses developed by Ocean First Education. These fundamental concepts will provide the backbone to understanding how we are connected to the ocean and why it’s so important. Students will then learn about coral reefs and their amazing inhabitants and start to understand the many factors that affect their health. By the time they graduate from the TIDES program, students will have a developed and refined understanding of the marine environment and be well-positioned to pursue a career in a number of related fields.

Thank you, TIDES instructors, for teaching me how to scuba dive. I had an amazing time that I will never forget. Your job change lives, you teach people things that they might not learn anywhere else, you opened up adventure into my life. Thank you so much!  - Calyx K, age 13

A Rising Tide Web-Series

A Rising Tide is a documentary webseries that follows underrepresented, landlocked Colorado students as they break down classroom walls, explore the underwater world, and discover what it takes to become tomorrow's scientists, ambassadors, and conservationists. We know all boats rise with the tide and given the right opportunities, these students can change our world. Catch up on the episodes here.