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Our Education Program

Student group tours of the Museum are available for Kindergarten to twelfth grade students. All workshops meet California Education Content Standards and have multiple hands-on activities.  Tours require a $4 per student donation and grants may be available.

Student Tours
& Workshops

Student group tours of the Museum are available for Kindergarten to twelfth grade students. All workshops meet California Education Content Standards and have multiple hands-on activities.  Tours require a $4 per student donation and grants may be available.


Included are a tour of the Museum and one hands-on workshop.  We can only do one workshop at a time-we recommend the Black Gold Adventure Tour and one added on workshop.  See workshops in detail to the right.  Our Educator can help recommend one that is best for your class.


Approximately 60-65 students can participate at a time. The tour and workshop takes about two hours all together.  Adequate adult supervision is required for all school group tours- we recommend 1 adult for 10 students. Homeschool groups are welcome! Advance arrangements are necessary for all school tours- see contact info below.


The Museum Courtyard is available for lunch if needed. The gift store is a great place for students to buy rocks and fossils!


For more information about any of these tours or to schedule a tour and workshop complete the form below or contact:

Museum Educator

805-933-0076 ext 2# or


Download the Field Trip Registration Form or complete the form below

Black Gold Adventure Tour


The Black Gold Adventure covers the history of oil from Native American Usage to modern day technology. The nature of oil from formation and refining to details of land and offshore drilling is portrayed in the Keck Hall Main Gallery. In a separate building is our authentic timber cast iron 1890s working cable tool drill rig. Here, students explore the life of early oil field workers.



All workshops have multiple hands-on activities and meet California Standards for science. Each student will have an individual microscope and lens for sample examination. Repeated use of the equipment and observations help students recognize patterns for identification and pre and post resources and activities for educators are provided prior to the tour (when reservations are made).


Our Dynamic Earth: Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes

Students explore earthquakes and faults using hands-on activities. They will learn about seismic waves, determine if earthquakes can be predicted, simulate earthquake waves and discover why some buildings fall during earthquakes.


Fossils Through Time

Geologic time scales are VAST and this workshop covers 4 billion years of time! Students get an overview of geologic time, and learn just how tough life can be. Pangaea, the shifting continents, and their effect on living organisms are related via the fossil evidence. Stratigraphy is a major tool for geologists and is laid out in an easy hands-on activity. Individual fossils from various time periods are examined under a lens and microscope. In addition, their modern day counterparts are shown for comparison.

The Wonderful World of Rocks and Minerals
The progression from elements to minerals to rocks are covered. The secrets of the Rock Cycle are examined as students go through the mineral makeup and formation of the 15 samples rock types examined with microscopes and hand lenses. They understand how rocks physically change as they go from one part of the cycle to another. The importance of rocks and minerals in our lives and how we use them are also highlighted.

From Soils to Sands
A completely hands on engaging workshop for students of all ages. Without soil the world would be an empty place. The decomposition of organic material and rock are discussed and individual soil samples are examined microscopically with surprise discoveries. These properties include texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of plants. Weathering and transport and deposition enhance understanding of how water erodes landforms. Students examine various beach sands from our coasts and around the world, comparing and contrasting the differences in their mineral makeup and grain size. These minute sand grains are easily compared with our large sample minerals.

Natures Abundance: Natural Oil Seeps
In this engaging workshop, participants learn about the many natural oil seeps in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Discover how oil forms deep underground and why it seeps out onto the surface of the earth and into our oceans. Students examine one of the major source rocks for California’s oil, the Monterey formation. Reservoir rocks, including oil sand and shale are observed with hand lenses and microscopes. Crude oil is scrutinized in its different forms such as tar, petroleum, asphaltum and tarballs – all naturally occurring in our local environment. Learn about this rich naturally occurring resource up close and personal. 

California Oil Museum's School Tours & Workshop

Field Trip Registration Form

In addition to earth science workshops, all groups will also receive

the Black Gold Adventure Tour.

We recommend one (1) chaperone for every ten (10) students

Is your school a Title 1 School?

We will review your request and you will receive an email confirming the tour date and the tour registration paperwork.  We will try our best to secure your first choice.

Tours begin at 9:30 am unless prior arrangements are made for an alternate time.

To Download the Registration Form please click here.

Questions? Contact the Museum Educator at

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