Aquarium School & Group Programs

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School and Group Programsschool kids in pointing at the seagrass tank
Field trips may be scheduled Tuesday-Friday. Please see below for pricing information. If group numbers exceed programs maximums, multiple programs may be booked together, or teachers may choose to have playground time. Teachers can also schedule a joint trip to the St. Lucie County Regional History Center by calling: 772-462-1795.

To book a field trip please call 772-465-3271 or email smseducation@si.edu.

Habitat Match [Grades K-2. Max 35 students. 1 hour]
Students begin in the classroom at the Aquarium where education staff lead a discussion about habitats and habitat requirements with students. Students then work in pairs to explore the Aquarium and complete a scavenger hunt activity where they identify animals in the tanks and match them to their respective habitats. Education staff provide a brief wrap-up in the classroom before the students break into small groups to visit the touch tank. Click here for a sample Habitat Matching Worksheet.

Ecosystem Explorers [Grades 3-5. Max 35 students. 1 hour]
Students begin in the classroom at the Aquarium where education staff lead a discussion about local habitats, ecosystems, the Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean. Students then work with a partner to self-guide through the Aquarium and complete a worksheet activity where they identify organisms in the tanks based on riddles and clues in a scavenger hunt. Education staff provide a brief wrap-up in the classroom before the students break into small groups to visit the touch tank. Click here for a sample worksheet. 

Ecosystem Scene Investigation (ESI) [Grades 6-8. Max 35 students. 1 hour]
Students begin in the classroom at the Aquarium where education staff lead a discussion about the biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. Students then work with a partner to self-guide through the Aquarium and complete an activity where they use observation skills to answer questions about animal behaviors, food chains, adaptations and more. Education staff provide a brief wrap-up in the classroom before the students break into small groups to visit the touch tank. (Link description:Click here for a sample worksheet.

Dichotomous Keys [Grades 3-8. Max 15 students. 45 minutes.]
Education staff provide an introduction to dichotomous keys (a method of identifying organisms based on a series of choices by finding distinguishing characteristics of a plant or animal) with a brief PowerPoint presentation. Students work in small groups and use a dichotomous key to identify eight different seashells. If time allows, students create their own dichotomous keys to “classify” different paper shapes. 

School kids seining in the Indian River LagoonSeining Activity [Grades 3-12.  Max. 20 students.  45 minutes (2 hours total with grade-appropriate indoor activity)]
To learn more about the biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon and its nursery habitats, students will learn how to use seine nets to gently capture live animals in the lagoon in this hands-on, feet-wet activity. Program includes using a field guide to identify collected specimens, an overview of nursery habitats and a discussion of selected animals caught during the activity. All students and adults entering the water must wear clothes that can get wet and water shoes such as sandals with a heel strap or old sneakers. Students should also bring a dry change of clothes. Seine netting must be paired with an indoor component such as a staff-assisted tour.

Fees for School and Group Programs

Rates for Standard Education Program (1 hr.)

 

Type

Tax Exempt

Non-Tax Exempt

Per Student

$2.35

$2.50

Per Adult, Teacher or Chaperone

$3.29

$3.50

 

Rates for Seining Program (2 hrs.)

(Seining program includes education program at the aquarium or self-guided tour)

 

Type

Tax Exempt

Non-Tax Exempt

Per Student

$4.70

$5.00

Per Adult, Teacher or Chaperone

$3.29

$3.50

 

One chaperone or teacher per 25 students is free. All others must pay applicable rate.