"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 investigated, interacted with and, of course, learn about."

– Rockland County, NY, camp director

Teachers & Groups

SandTigercHerity silo copy

Sand Tiger Shark Fun Fact

Look closely at the sand tiger sharks in the "Ocean Beyond the Sound" exhibit. Their snout and jaws are covered in tiny holes. These are receptors for the sharks' "sixth sense" – their ability to detect bioelectric fields emitted by other animals (including potential prey).

High School Programs 2016 17 Ed Bro cover

Click on the image at right for a pdf of our entire 2016-17 Educational Programs brochure.


New!   Behavioral Husbandry Lab  (Grades 9-12 & college)

Learn the fundamentals of why enrichment is beneficial to animals in human care and how to use an ethogram to study animal behaviors Students receive first-hand experience being creative in making an enrichment object for our most popular animals (octopus, sea turtle, meerkats, seals, otters). Students visit each exhibit and watch their animal interact with the enrichment item while observing behaviors and completing an ethogram. 2 hours. Includes live animals in the content.

This program can be booked with start times of only 9, 9:30 or 10 a.m.   Must be booked at least 4 weeks in advance. 

At Aquarium: $350. Simultaneous and sequential presentations on the same day not available.

Not available as a Traveling Teacher program. 


Behind-the-Scenes Aquarium Careers (Grades 9-12)

Explore off-exhibit areas as you learn about the many careers that are involved in making The Maritime Aquarium a great place for visitors as well as for the animals that live here. View the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit – with its 7-foot sand tiger sharks – from above and visit our “Fish Kitchen” to learn how our aquarists meet the nutritional needs of more than 1,000 animals every single day. Students not only learn about the behind-the-scenes operations of the Aquarium, but what they need to do to Aquar.interns1work with animals in a similar setting some day. One hour. Please note: from April through June, this program is offered only before 10 a.m. and after 1 p.m.

At Aquarium: $120 for first or simultaneous; $110 for second & additional sequential; in addition to Aquarium admission.

Not available as a Traveling Teacher program.

Grades 9-12: Common Core,
SL9-10.1, SL11-12.1


The Science of Diving (Grades 9-12)

Survival underwater poses a myriad of physical, biological and chemical challenges. In this new program that bridges the sciences, students will examine how marine animals are adapted to overcome these challenges, and the ingenious technologies humans have developed to do so. A variety of experiments focused on pressure, how light and sound travel through water, and thermoregulation will provide hands-on engagement with some of the key issues involved in underwater survival. Students will also meet a member of the aquarium's dive team to learn what's involved in learning to dive, and how it feels to be submerged with the large sharks in our big "Ocean Beyond the Sound" exhibit. 75 minutes.

At Aquarium: $150 for first or simultaneous; $140 for second & additional sequential; in addition to Aquarium admission.
Not available as a Traveling Teacher program.

Grades 9-12: Next Gen., LS4.C; PS1.A; PS3.B; PS4.A&B; Common Core, RST9-10.3; RST 11-12.3; RST 9-10.4; RST 11-12.4


Shark Anatomy & Evolution (Grades 9-12)

Aquar.shark-dissection-4-webFor decades, sharks have been called “living fossils.” But recent studies have challenged the notion that sharks have changed little over the course of evolutionary time. Guided by the Aquarium’s expert instructors, students work in groups dissecting small sharks to investigate shark adaptations and why they’ve been so successful. Students also learn about the relationship between bony and cartilaginous fish, and why many shark species are now threatened. Two hours. Includes live animals in the presentation.

At Aquarium: $275 for first or simultaneous; $250 for second & additional sequential

Not available as a Traveling Teacher program.

Grades 9-12: Next Gen., LS1.A, LS2.C, LS4.B, LS4.C, LS4.D; Common Core, RST.9-10.3, RST.11-12.4

Congressman Jim Himes looks in on a shark dissection program.


Watch one of our high school programs.



Sound Sentinels (Grades 9-12)

How do scientists measure climate change, and what tells them if it’s having an impact on habitats and species? It’s all about sentinels and, in this new program, high school students learn about the biotic and abiotic sentinels that scientists use to understand the effects of a changing climate on Long Island Sound. After collecting and analyzing water-quality data and up-close examination of live animal sentinels, the program culminates with an immersive role-playing activity. Students adopt the perspectives of a variety of community members as they debate issues related to the health and management of the Sound. 90 minutes. Includes live animals in the presentation.

At Aquarium: $175 for first or simultaneous; $160 for second & additional sequential; in addition to Aquarium admission.

Grades 9-12: Next Gen., LS2.A, LS2.C, LS4.C, LS4.D, ESS2.D, ESS3.A, ESS3.C, ESS3,D; CT Science, 9.8, 9.9, 10.5; Common Core, RST.11-12.1, RST.11-12.7, WHST.9-12.9, SL.11-12.5, MP.2, HSS-IC.B.6; CT Core Scientific, D INQ: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.


Study Cruises for School/Scout/Camps (by charter):

Cruises take place aboard The Maritime Aquarium's new R/V Spirit of the Sound, a 64-foot catamaran that is the country's only research vessel with hybrid-electric propulsion. She's bigger, greener and quieter than out previous boat. Cost for any cruise: $750 for up to 40 participants. Additional Aquarium admission is optional.

• Biodiversity and Conservation (Grades 9-12)

March-June and Sept.-Nov.: 9 a.m. & 1 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. weekends
July & August: 9 a.m. daily
cruise - high schoolStudents utilize such sampling techniques as a plankton tow, biodredge and trawl net and then identify and classify the taxonomy of animals hauled up from the Sound, from microscopic
plankton to crabs, mollusks and a variety of fish (maybe even small sharks). Review data showing population trends over time and learn about the conservation issues facing Norwalk Harbor and Long Island Sound.
Grades 9-12: Next Gen., LS1.B, LS1.C, LS4.C, LS4.D; Common Core, HS5.IC.B.3 CT Science, 9.8, 10.2; CT Core Scientific, D INQ: 6, 10.

NEW! • Environmental Studies Cruise (Grades 9-12)

Linked directly to the curriculum for AP Environmental Science, this cruise allows students to partake in field work as they explore the ecosystem services provided by Long Island Sound. Students experience what it is like to be a researcher as they survey mud samples and conduct water-quality tests, collecting data that can be further analyzed back at school.
Grades 9-12:
Next Gen., LS2.B, LS2.C, ESS2.D, ESS3.C, ESS3.D.

NEW! • Oceanography Cruise (Grades 9-12)

Students collect weather, water and plankton samples as they consider the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world's oceans.

Grades 9-12: Next Gen., LS2.B, LS2.C, ESS2.C, ESS2.D, PS3.D.

Cruises can occur in rain, cold and wind, and are canceled only if conditions are dangerous. Please dress accordingly!

All observations made on study cruises are recorded. This data is part of an ongoing student-based research project called the Long Island Sound Biodiversity Study. Details ...

TEACHERS: ask about the pre-cruise activity guide when you make your reservation. Need financial assistance? Download the Group Financial-aid Form and either email it or mail to: The Maritime Aquarium, 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT 06854; or fax it to: (203) 852-8892.

Teachers in CT, NY, and NJ - Ride Free

Teachers and school administrators, if you have not experienced a Marine Life Study Cruise, we want you aboard! From May through Labor Day, you and a companion can join us on a regularly scheduled public Marine Life Study Cruise aboard our cool new hybrid-electric research vessel at no charge. Advance reservations are required. Qualified licensed educators presently teaching in CT, NY, or NJ, with proper school ID only please. Call our Reservations Office: 203-852-0700, ext. 2206, Monday through Friday 9:30 - 4:30 to reserve your spot.