Frequently Asked Questions

Living Lab, Membership, and Opportunities for Involvement

Frequently Asked Questions

The Living Lab

Can anyone access the Living Lab?

Everyone can enjoy our Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation Discovery Gallery and our J.W. Sefton Foundation Rooftop Garden Terrace. If you are Member, or you are an approved Companion who is accompanying a Member, you can access the Living Lab’s educational spaces and resources.

What are some things that you will do to keep students safe?

The building is designed with advice from the police and in a way that you can see everything that is happening from the inside of the building as well as the outside. We will have security cameras in place for surveillance at all hours. We also ask that students who are in 5th grade or below are accompanied by a parent/guardian when coming to the Living Lab. The guardian/parent must be an approved Companion.

Does everyone need to Check In and Check Out at the reception desk?

Yes. All visitors must check in and get a temporary visitor name badge and check out at the front desk before leaving the facility. If you are a Member or a Companion, you must scan your badge at the front desk kiosk both when you arrive and when you leave.

What are educational spaces and resources?

Educational spaces are areas in the Living Lab (like our David C. Copley Foundation Ocean Alcove and our Scott Grimes Achievement Alcove) that can be used by Members to study, to read, have mentor meetings, and/or complete college applications.

Educational resources are our science, college, and career books that are available to our Members to read, as well as laptops that can be checked out by our Members.

Can I bring snacks into the Living Lab?

No. All snacks must be finished before entering the Living Lab. Bringing a sealed, non-glass water bottle is OK.

Membership and Member Programs

Who can be a Member?

To become a Member, you must 1) be enrolled in one of our school-shed schools in City Heights OR be an Hoover High School graduate, 2) have an approved application on file, AND 3) have an active Member badge.

I am a Member. When can I access the Living Lab’s educational spaces and resources?

Our Member hours are:

Tuesday: 3:00 - 6:00p

Wednesday: 3:00 - 7:30p

Thursday: 3:00 - 6:00p

Friday: 3:00 - 6:00p

Saturday: 10:00 - 2:30p

How do I know which opportunities are for Members?

Our Calendar of Opportunities is color-coded. Member programs are blue. Volunteer opportunities are orange. Public opportunities including Living Lab visitor tours are green.

My child is a Member and is enrolled in next week’s program but she is not able to attend that day. What should I do?

All our programs require a 24-hour advanced notice to withdraw a student. You can login to your portal account and withdraw your student from the program day. Stop by the Living Lab if you would like some help!

My child is a Member and cannot attend the program that he is enrolled in and that is starting in 5 mins. What should I do?

All our programs require a 24-hour advanced notice to withdraw a student. If your student does not attend class and was not withdrawn 24 hours prior, she will be marked absent. If your student is marked absent 3 times in a 6 month period, her Membership will be deactivated for 1 month.

Can my child enroll in a program on the same day it is taking place?

No. All programs need 48-hour advanced enrollment so we can plan accordingly.

Can my child bring his friends to a program?

Your child can bring his friends if they are also Members and they have enrolled in the program.

Who can be a Companion?

A Companion is an adult family member or friend who is 18 and older and who has met Ocean Discovery volunteer requirements OR a Member who is in 6th grade or above.

My child is is a Member but is switching schools next year to a school is not in the Hoover Cluster. Can she still be a member after she switches?

Our programs are funded primarily for students within the Hoover Cluster. Once Ocean Discovery becomes aware of the change, then her Member badge will be deactivated. However, she is still able to join Ocean Discovery on a volunteer basis!

I am a Companion and I forgot my badge. Can I still accompany my child to her program?

If you have an active application with Ocean Discovery and can provide identification, we will issue you a temporary identification badge that you will need to return to the reception desk when the program has finished. You will still need to check in and check out at the reception kiosk. If your Companion badge remains lost for 3 programs, for the safety of our students, we will de-activate your Companion badge and will re-issue you a new one after processing your $5.00 fee for a new lanyard and badge.

My child is a Member but does not require a Companion to attend programs. Can I still apply to be a Companion and attend the program with her?

Yes. We encourage parents/guardians to apply to be Companions and learn with their students during programs!

I lost my Member or Companion badge. Can I get a new one?

Yes. Stop at the reception desk and let our staff know you need a new badge. We will de-activate your old badge, process your $5.00 fee for a new badge, and generate a new badge for you.

My lanyard broke. Can I get a new one?

Yes. Stop at the reception desk and let our staff know you need a new lanyard. We will process your $1.00 fee for a new lanyard, and give you a new one.

My plastic cover for my badge broke. Can I get a new one?

Yes. Stop at the reception desk and let our staff know you need a new cover. We will process your $1.00 fee for a new lanyard, and give you a new one.

Who can I contact if I have questions about Membership?

Please contact Ocean Discovery at 858-488-3849 or if you need help.

Ocean Discovery Portal

If I need help using the portal, what should I do?

We are here to help! Stop by the Living Lab and our staff will be happy to help you!

Can I access the Ocean Discovery portal from my cell phone?

Yes, although it is optimized for use with a computer. Feel free to stop by the Living Lab and use one of our reception computers to access your portal. We’d love to see you!

I forgot my password for the Ocean Discovery portal. How do I reset it?

On the login page of the portal 1) click on the Forgot Password button and follow the directions. Keep in mind that you must have access to the email that is your login for the portal. 2) Login using the password that was sent to your email. 3) Create a new password by going to Menu in the navigation bar at the top, under Account select Password, then reset your password by following the directions.

Volunteer Opportunities

How can I become a Volunteer?

To become a volunteer, 1) create portal account, 2) submit an on-line Volunteer application, AND 3) complete any additional requirements, as applicable. You will be notified when your application has been accepted! Once approved, you can enroll in Volunteer opportunities. See our website for more information.

When will your volunteer service days take place?

        • Tuesdays from 10:00a-12:30p will be office projects.
        • Wednesdays from 4:00p-6:30p will be facilities projects.
        • Saturdays from 10:00a-12:30p will be our Watershed Avengers canyon restoration activities.
        • Additionally, on every THIRD Saturday of the month from 9:30a-12:30pm, we will have special projects.

See our Calendar of Opportunities for more information!