In-Person Education Programs
The Maritime Aquarium's educational programs use the motivating power of live animals and varied marine habitats to make science a positive adventure for your students as they're introduced to scientific concepts, processes and the importance of science in our everyday lives.
Things to Keep in Mind
- A maximum of 30 total people (students and teachers) can attend a program. Additional chaperones will rejoin the program after it is complete.
- Programs must be booked at least 6-8 weeks in advance, and must be prepaid at time of reservation.
- We reserve the right to change an in-person program to a virtual program based on the current state of the pandemic. We will notify you of any changes and will offer a refund if you do not wish to do the program virtually.
- Financial assistance is available! Click Here to Download our Group Financial-aid Form and either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: The Maritime Aquarium, 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, Connecticut 06854; or fax it to: (203) 852-8892.
For questions or to book a program, please contact our Reservations Department at (203) 852-0700 extension 2206 between 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday or email email@example.com.
Meet the Animals | PK- Grade 2 | 30 Minutes
Nothing sparks an interest in nature and science like an up-close meeting with live animals. An aquarium educator will introduce students to live crabs and snails. Children will count their legs, describe their body shapes and explain how they feel. Finally, they’ll collect their ideas and observations on an “I Notice, I Wonder” chart.
House for Hermit Crab | PK- K | 45 Minutes
Hermit crab is outgrowing his shell and it’s time for a new home. Using Eric Carle’s classic story as motivation, students consider how animals use their habitat and other plants and animals to survive. Students meet and touch live crabs and mollusks, sorting and classifying them by size, shape and other attributes that promote early science skills.
In-House: $120 for first or simultaneous; $110 for second and additional sequential.
Traveling Teacher: $170 for first or simultaneous; $120 for second and additional sequential. Additional travel fees may apply.
A Way We Grow (formerly Life Cycles) | Grade 1 | 45 Minutes
Every animal changes during the course of its life, but some more than others. Students make discoveries about how animals grow by examining live animals and the shells, skulls, fur and other artifacts from animals as they grow. In this hands-on experience, students are introduced to different types of animals and sequence their life-cycle patterns as well as learning what young animals need from their parents to survive. They also assume the role of animal parents as they seek to protect their young.
Traveling Teacher: $170 for first or simultaneous; $120 for second and additional sequential.
Standards: NGSS – 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1
Design-a-Seed Activity | Grade 2 | 60 Minutes
It’s tough for a little seed to get its start! Students examine local flora to discover the variety of ways flowering plants have developed to disperse their seeds. Students work together to design and build a seed, and to create their own dispersal story.
Shark Safari | Grade 3 | 60 Minutes
Sharks and rays are an incredibly diverse group of animals, representing all sorts of sizes, body shapes, and behaviors to suit the places and climates they’ve occupied over time. Students start off examining shark teeth, jaws, and models, feel the sandpapery texture of shark skin, and learn how superb adaptations have allowed sharks to survive for millions of years in a wide variety of ocean habitats.
Life Between the Tides | Grades 3 - 8 | 45 Minutes
Imagine living in a place that gets flooded every day! That’s the challenge faced by the amazing and resilient animals of Long Island Sound’s intertidal zone. Students will meet and touch different kinds of crabs, mollusks and gastropods and employ their observation skills to explain how these animals are adapted to the daily and seasonal changes in their environment.
Stream Tables | Grade 4 | 90 Minutes
Geologist Charles Lyell is credited with the insight that water’s powerful ability to shape the landscapes we see today also caused major transformations over the course of Earth’s history. Using the Aquarium’s stream-table models, students conduct an inquiry to discover the role erosion and deposition play in creating rivers and landforms. Students create their own model to learn how natural and fabricated objects can affect these processes.
Traveling Teacher: $265 for first or simultaneous; $200 for second and additional sequential. Additional travel fees may apply.
Standards: NGSS 4-ESS2-1, 4-ESS3-2
The Power of Plankton | Grade 5 | 60 Minutes
How do tiny microscopic organisms in the ocean affect us, other animals, and the earth? Students will survey a plankton sample collected from Long Island Sound and explore the numerous groups of organisms that drift with the currents. They’ll also use and create models to discover why they are so important to us and the living planet.
Traveling Teacher: $185 for first or simultaneous; $135 for second and additional sequential.
Standards: NGSS 5-LS2-1, 5-ESS2-1
Climate and Crustaceans | Grade 6 | 60 Minutes
We know our climate has been changing. How does that affect animal populations in Long Island Sound? Students will look at environmental and population data to reveal the story of one of the northeast’s more famous denizens, the American Lobster.
Exploring Systems | Grades 7 & 8
What are the essential parts of the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems? How do they work together to accomplish the body’s essential functions? In these comparative-anatomy programs, students are guided in a focused fish dissection. They think not only about how these systems operate in fish, but compare them to their analogous systems in humans. Take each program separately, or combine them for a 90-minute lab. Fee charged for extra specimens.
Coasts that Shift & Change | High School | 60 Minutes
Following an introduction to the science of extreme weather and coastal change, students use an interactive “beach in a box” to model storm conditions and the effects of erosion on beaches and buildings. They then will test and evaluate different methods of making the coast more resilient.
Behavioral Husbandry Lab | High School | 2 Hours
Learn the fundamentals of how we study animal behavior and why enrichment is beneficial to animals in human care. Students receive first-hand experience being creative in designing and building an enrichment object for Aquarium animals using food and other sensory materials. Then students meet with a member of our Animal Husbandry department, who will put the enrichments in with the animals. Students then complete ethogram behavior surveys, logging how the animals interact with their enrichment item.
Guided Tour | PK - College | 60 minutes
These tours use the motivating power of the Aquarium’s animals to bring grade-appropriate life science topics alive. In the company of an Aquarium educator, your students will visit ur fish, mammals, and reptiles and draw well-reasoned conclusions about even unfamiliar animals’ lifestyles based on their close-up observations. Please note that from April through Guided Tours are offered only before 10:30 am or after 1:00 pm.