Skip To Main Content

Sea, Sand, & Stars

The Sea, Sand, and Stars Facility, located on the campus of Orange Beach Elementary School in beautiful Orange Beach Alabama features a 5,800 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium, 1,500 Gallon Marine Life Touch Tank, 800 ft. Nature Boardwalk with outdoor classrooms, Planetarium, Microscope Lab, Library, and Gift Shop. Sea, Sand, and Stars hosts field trips and serves Orange Beach Elementary students during the academic school year August through May. We are currently closed for the summer. Please check our Facebook page for more information. 

Sea, Sand, and Stars has been made possible through generous contributions from Brett-Robinson Construction, the City of Orange Beach and the Baldwin County Board of Education. More than a decade ago the seeds were planted for a hands-on facility for island school students to learn about the natural resources of the area.

The idea soon drew the interest of several prominent business and civic leaders. With their help, the Sea, Sand and Stars interactive facility became a reality.

The facility features a beautiful 5,800 gallon aquarium with a large variety of gulf fish and a 1,500 gallon touch tank. In addition, the facility has a 38-seat planetarium with a Digitarium Alpha II Projector, technology used in the best planetariums across the world allowing visitors a real-time look through this amazing window into space.

Just around the corner a microscope laboratory allows students to get a closer look at marine life. Outside, an 800-foot boardwalk leads to four large outdoor gazebo classrooms where students learn about birds, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

In partnership with WKRG TV, there is also a weather station complete with measuring and monitoring technology.

After its opening in November 2007, the facility was a success - drawing students not just from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but from all across Baldwin County. Within two months, the center began to host students from across the region, including Mobile County and Escambia County in Alabama, and Escambia County Florida. Currently the facility hosts more than 4,000 students per year.

Marine Science Focus

At the Steven W. Baker Sea, Sand, and Stars, Science and Nature Center, students are actively engaged in learning about all areas of science throughout hands-on experiences! Marine Biology and our local ecosystem are a main focus. Students get to be emerged in learning with our 5,800 gallon aquarium and touch tank filled with local marine life! They also continue their experience with Earth and Space science in the planetarium. Students dive into learning with dissections, experiments, and immersive activities. 


STEAM Initiative

The STEAM Lab at Orange Beach Elementary School is taught by a STEAM and STEM certified teacher. Together with Sea Sand and Stars the program works to enrich the classroom teacher’s grade level standards using the Engineer Design Process and a variation of technology to develop 21st century skills along with working in collaborative groups. 

As the students progress through their years at the elementary school, they will be introduced to technology with increasingly more difficult coding practices. 

Students get to experience Bee-Bots, Ozobot, Starwbees, Micro:bit, Makey Makey, Vex Robotics, Green Screens, 3-D Printers and more. 

In the STEAM Lab, they also tend to 7 Tower Gardens. Students learn about hydroponic and aeroponic gardening. They start plants from seeds, watching them grow. Students then harvest the plants. Students eat a variety of different salads, make pesto, dry herbs and enjoy their foods in a variety of different ways. Students also learn about the nutrients to be added to their water and test the pH level to ensure it is at the perfect acidic level for their plants.