We've taken a few educational boat trips over the years but yours was by far the best all-around experience. The highlight had to be the breadth of sea life we pulled up and got a chance to investigate, interact with and, of course, learn about."
– Rockland County, NY, camp director
"House for Hermit Crab"
Students follow along month by month as they listen to this classic book about a year in the life of a young hermit crab. They use their senses and sharpen observational and verbal skills as they share what they notice and ask questions. They handle some live animals from the story and look for similarities and differences in various crabs, including an invasive species. Program duration dependent on the students’ attention spans.
Living vs. Non-Living
For kindergarten only. Through a guided discussion, students share their observations about the characteristics of living and once-living organisms, as well as non-living things. They compare and contrast two live animals of the same grouping.
For ages 4 & up only. Members of the same group of animals can look and behave very differently. For example, herring and sharks are both fish, but have distinct differences in their size, color and habits. Activities include touching shark teeth, measuring themselves against a life-sized shark puzzle they assemble, and weighing out food for the Aquarium’s sharks.
By observing and touching a variety of live intertidal animals, students learn about these creatures’ different structures and behaviors. Activities focus on how these animals meet their basic needs for oxygen, food, water, shelter and space.
Sea Turtle Life Cycle
After hearing a story about the life cycle of a loggerhead sea turtle, students play a counting game that teaches about the needs of turtles and demonstrates how and why few survive from hatchling to adult. Students look for special structures and behaviors that help sea turtles meet their basic needs, and discuss ways they can help protect these ancient creatures.
Whales and Dolphins
Is a dolphin a whale? How do scientists group whales? How are you like a whale? Students observe and describe similarities and differences, measure themselves against a life-sized whale puzzle, learn about conservation issues and participate in activities that demonstrate whale and dolphin adaptations.
Life Between the Tides
The intertidal zone is a unique habitat in which organisms have different behavioral and structural adaptations to survive the rising and falling of tides every day. Students will learn about the moon’s effect on tides, as they read a tide chart for the day of their visit and discuss how the organisms depend on the living and non-living features of the environment for survival. And they share observations and ask questions as they notice and handle a variety of live intertidal invertebrates.
Sharks and Fish
Animals have structural adaptations for getting food, such as specialized teeth or a keen sense of smell. Students will work in teams to rotate through stations focusing on the animals’ adaptations and survival strategies, the similarities between sharks and other fish, and conservation issues. Activities include measuring out the amount of food that the Aquarium feeds its sharks, observing physical adaptations of a fish, and touching shark jaws, skin and other artifacts.
Squid have very unique behavioral and structural adaptations for survival, and they depend on living and non-living components of their environment. Students observe and ask about these adaptations and interactions as they learn dissection skills. They also compare and contrast squid with other mollusks, such as snails and clams.
Brine Shrimp Inquiry (for Grades 5-6)
Available only as a 90-minute program. Through a guided inquiry experiment, students investigate how brine shrimp respond to different stimuli while implementing the basics of the scientific method. Students work in groups for formulate a hypothesis, note observations, chance variables and state results. $265 for first program, $185 for others on the same day.
The intertidal zone is a unique ecosystem in which organisms have different adaptations to sense and respond to information about their environment as the tides rise and fall. Students learn about the moon's effect on tides, as they read a tide chart for the day of their visit and discuss challenges for animals living in the intertidal zone and the physical factors with which they interact. Students share observations and ask questions as they notice and handle a variety of intertidal invertebrates.
Marine World Magnified
The unseen marine world opens up to students as they learn to use hand lenses and microscopes to observe a variety of live animals. Students compare the structure of the eye to a microscope. They then use books and charts to identify the creatures they have seen. Food chains and human impacts are discussed.
Through dissection, students explore how squid sense and respond to their environment by examining a squid's unique physical adaptations, including the exceptionally large eyes. Students also compare and contrast squid to other mollusks such as clams and snails.
These 45-minute programs introduce students to some of the environmental issues facing the world today/ Students learn about many of the impacts these issues have on our climate, wildlife, ecosystems, everyday living and Long Island Sound. Solutions to current issues are discussed. (Many activities relate to state Social Studies standards too.)
Through an interactive presentation, students learn the differences between climate and weather, the basic of the greenhouse effect, and how carbon cycles through the environment. Through discussion and hands-on activities, students discover how climate change impacts our weather, wildlife and everyday living. They'll also brainstorm for solutions that can be implemented in their own lives and communities.
An ecosystem is composed of all populations that are living in a certain space and the physical factors with which they interact. The introduction of non-native plants or animals can have a negative impact on an ecosystem. Students will take part in fun hands-on activities while exploring the environmental impacts of invasive species that can now be found in Long Island Sound. Students also will learn what they can do to prevent further spreading of exotic species.
Most precipitation that falls in Connecticut eventually reaches Long Island Sound. This water moving across and through the earth carries with it the products of human activities. With Long Island Sound's extensive watershed as an example, discover the impact of humans on aquatic ecosystems. Students will share their observations as they "pollute" a watershed model, then look for ways to clean it up. Hands-on discovery of basic scientific and ecological concepts.
Dr. LivingSound® Traveling Science Show!
For Grades 2-6
This lively 45-minute program, for up to 200 students, incorporates drama, surprise and humor to introduce students to Long Island Sound's environment and the issues that concern it. Our Dr. LivingSound® character (played by a Maritime Aquarium educator) draws students into hands-on demonstrations that teach how science connects to the marine world. Using water as its central topic, “the good doctor” introduces students to the Sound's watershed, explains the water cycle and examines the different ways we use water.
Cost is $525. Discounts available for multiple presentations on the same day: $275 each additional presentation. Additional charges may include a “layover fee” for gaps of one hour or more between classes, travel charges, and any parking fees.
Touch Tank for a Day!
A great bonus for Field Days, Science Fairs or Family Nights
We’ll set up a supervised touch tank with live tidal-pool creatures and animal artifacts. A great hands-on learning-station enhancement to any event!
Cost: $165 for the first hour, $100 for second hour, $95 for third hour and $90 for each additional hour.
Long Island Sound Day
We can arrange a day at your school so that several grades, or all students, can experience our unique program.
Our Long Island Sound Day includes an initial indoor assembly program (for up to 200) with a PowerPoint presentation, then in one-hour blocks students can rotate through a variety of stations that include our live tide-pool animals. Other stations could include topics on whales, sharks or invasive species.
Cost: $300 for initial assembly/ set-up, $200 per hour thereafter. Travel charges may also apply. For more information, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2271.
Learning, fun and inspiration don’t have to stop when the dismissal bell sounds. The Maritime Aquarium’s staff of educators will work with you to design a customized after-school program, conducted at your school, that will both entertain your students and supplement their school day learning!
The following series are offered singly or in combination for months of enrichment and fun.
Ocean Explorers 1
This multi-week hands-on program engages students in learning about Long Island Sound. Students will investigate fish, crabs, mollusks, turtles, marine mammals and more.
Ocean Explorers 2
This multi-week program engages students in hand-on experiences, in such topics as sharks, whales, pollution, coral reefs and live intertidal animals from Long Island Sound.
(Activities are adjusted to be group-appropriate.)
Animal Adaptation Package
This multi-week series introduces students to animals and plants of Long Island Sound. Includes squid & fish dissections, sharks, intertidal habitats and microscope use.
Environmental Issues Package
This multi-week series focuses on such environmental issues as climate change, invasive species, water pollution, frogs and turtles.
This multiweek series utilizes your schoolyard as a classroom. Students investigate what plants and animals live there and the human impact on that environment.
Seashore Biodiversity Package
For schools within driving distance of a beach, this multi-week series focuses on Long Island Sound. Students are introduced to the animals and habitats of Long Island Sound, the scientific method and the collection of data.