Sunday, January 19, 2020

Our Program

The goal of Killer Whale Tales is to engage, inspire and challenge elementary school students to take an active role in the conservation of Pacific Northwest killer whales and the habitat that supports them.

Quality hands-on science learning tends to be resource intensive— requiring a large amount of a teacher’s time to prepare lessons, as well as equipment that often exceeds a teacher’s or school’s budget. As a result, elementary school science learning is more and more frequently neglected. Killer Whale Tales enables teachers to include environmental education in their curricula by providing our program free of charge.

During our program, teachers witness the tremendous power environmental education holds for getting kids excited about learning —particularly science learning.


The charisma of the orcas themselves provides the magic to capture student’s attention. Endangered orcas enter the classroom via interactive video footage and storytelling. Participants are fascinated by the orcas’ behaviors, dialects and life-long family relationships. Students even learn to identify individual whales!

By bringing a real orca researcher into the classroom, the science is validated. Students are transformed into researchers for the day as they participate in hands-on, interactive activities.

After class, students use their knowledge and inspiration for a purpose. The Kids Making a Difference Now! activity challenges students and their families to understand, monitor, and finally reduce their ecological footprints at home for the benefit of the orcas.

We systematically monitor outcomes and results and adapt the program as needed to ensure program success. We use three tools to measure success and obtain feedback for program improvement: teacher evaluations, student pre- and post-tests, and measurable conservation success from the Kids Making a Difference Now! activity.

Over 100,000 students have experienced virtual field- based research and purposeful stewardship through Killer Whale Tales since 2000. Our dream is that one day our students will take pride in our collective achievement as the Southern Resident Killer Whales follow the success of the Bald Eagle and are removed from the endangered species list.