K – 5

Give your students a unique and unforgettable aquatic experience without even leaving your classroom! Don’t have the time to hassle with planning a field trip? Can’t afford to send the entire to school to the Aquarium?

Let the Aquarium bring the wonder of the ocean to you at your school! All traveling programs meet North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) requirements. Choose from a variety of Interpretative Animal Programs and Aqua-exploration Labs, listed below.

Interpretative Animal Programs for Schools

Maximum of 150 participants each session

Sea Turtles Trail Tales

Sea turtles are some of the oldest, most intriguing and fascinating reptiles on the planet. Explore the life history and adaptations of these threatened and endangered species. Find out where hatchlings go during their time at sea, and what brings turtles back to the same North Carolina beaches where they hatched. See a live sea turtle as well as examine sea turtle shells, skulls, and other bones. (1 – 1.5 hours. Versions for ages: 5 – 8 years and 8 – 11 years) Request more information.

Scaly Skin, No Fins

Have a close encounter with the native reptiles of North Carolina’s land and sea. Learn about the characteristics of this amazing group of slithering, sliding, swimming and crawling creatures. Discover where they live, what they eat and which ones may be hiding in your own backyard. See and touch the scales and scutes of our live alligator, turtles and snakes! (1 – 1.5 hours. Ages: 5 – 11 years) Request more information.

Journey through North Carolina

Take a virtual journey through the great state of North Carolina. Starting with the mountains, participants explore the different habitats and ecosystems of the state, eventually ending at the sea. Program includes live animals and educational props from these habitats. (1 – 1.5 hours. Ages: 5 – 11 years) Request more information.

Swamp Symphony

Participants explore the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians, and then examine the life cycles and adaptations of the two classifications. After an encounter with our ectothermic friends, transform your classroom into a swamp with interactive props and live frogs, toads or turtles. (1 – 1.5 hours. Ages: 10 -11 years) Request more information.

Awesome Adaptations

How does a sea star eat if they don’t have teeth? How do owls sneak up to their prey? Through adaptations! Learn about the amazing adaptations many of our Aquarium residents have that help them survive in their environment. Choose 3 or 4 of the following animals: eastern screech owl, snake, box turtle, sea turtle, blue-tongued skink, salamander, sea star, horseshoe crab, hermit crab, sea urchin, sting ray, or shark. Program includes a live animal of most of the animals mentioned above. (1 hour. Ages: ALL) Request more information.



Interpretative Programs & Aqua-Exploration Labs for Small Groups

Maximum of 30 participants each session

Hermit Crab and Friends

Join a hermit crab on its journey to turn its “plain shell” into a beautiful home. Students enjoy a lively, interactive reading of Eric Carle’s book, A House for Hermit Crab. Through the pages of the book, participants learn about friendship and a variety of undersea invertebrates, before getting hands-on, up-close encounters with the same creatures. The program, perfect for children ages 3 to 8, encourages plenty of imagination and participation. (30 to 40 minutes. Ages: 3 – 8 years) Request more information.

ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) and Ocean Exploration

Learn how ROVs are built and operated, and see the effects of this awesome technology on ocean exploration. We will discuss the history of ocean exploration and the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies used today. Participants will use hands-on activities to investigate the effects of pressure, buoyancy, and density on ROV design and operation. We will look at an ROV made by our staff and discuss how they too can create this technology and explore the deep ocean. Please note: there are no live animals presented in this program. (1.5 hours. Ages: 10 – 11 years) Request more information.

Invertebrate Encounters

Experience life as a spineless oceanic invertebrate! Your participants learn how to classify our local marine invertebrates after a hands-on experience with mollusks, arthropods, and echinoderms. Participants observe live whelks, crabs, sea stars and other boneless sea creatures. (1 – 1.5 hours. Ages: 8 – 11 years) Request more information.

Squid Squish

What do squid, snails and scallops have in common? Find out as participants explore the amazing world of mollusks! Participants examine the anatomy and adaptations of these cephalopods through scientific investigation and squid dissection. (1-1.5 hours. Ages: 8 – 11 years) Request more information.

The Water Dance

It’s more than just a glass of water – it’s a precious limited resource! Participants explore the water cycle and learn the differences between fresh, saline and brackish water through scientific investigation. They will test the pH and salinity of aquarium tanks and their school drinking fountain to determine what types of aquatic life can survive in each environment. (1-1.5 hours. Ages: 8 – 11) Request more information.

Please note: A majority of our programs incorporate live animal encounters. Please understand that working with live animals can be unpredictable. On the rare occasion that we are unable to provide your group with a live animal encounter, we will do our best to inform you ahead of time and discuss other program options.

NCSCOS Information

Download Outreach Reservation Form

Contact the Outreach Coordinator

Online Information Request Form