School Group Opportunities

If your group is seeking a more hands-on program, consider one of the Aquarium’s more in-depth, fee-based Special Activities programs, such as a field trip to the beach or salt marsh, a craft in the Aquarium classroom, a dissection lab or “Sleeping with the Sharks.” A wide range of topics and activities are available and can be adapted to most age groups and interests. Most topics are available year-round.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Let the Aquarium build a program around your needs. Group size limitations may be necessary, and all programs are subject to availability of staff, rooms and animals. Age limitations and fees vary. For information, call our Special Activities Coordinator, Beth Wilcox at (252) 475-2327.


After a brief introduction, students create a work of art. Crafts include, but are not limited to, fish printing, seaweed marbling, shell picture frames and nautical wreaths.

Time required: 1 to 1½ hours
Group size: 20 maximum
Fee: variable

Squid Dissection

Students investigate the external and internal anatomy of squid in this introductory dissection. Taxonomy, mollusks and by-catch are also discussed.

Group size: 10 minimum
Grade level: 4th and up

Shark Dissection

Students take an up-close look at a dogfish shark to investigate external and internal shark anatomy. An introduction includes video, biofacts and other mediums. Students work in groups of four, with one shark specimen per group. Additional specimens are available for a fee.

Grade level: 6th and up.

Marine Invertebrate Lab

Students become detectives in this hands-on activity, as they examine animals such as sea stars, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs and whelks. Moving from one workstation to another, students work in groups to investigate live specimens and look for telltale clues that provide answers to a quiz.

Group size: 10 minimum
Grade level: 3rd and up

Wetland Walk at Oregon Inlet

Learn about this important habitat’s ecology during this “get wet” activity. Students make their way through a salt marsh to wade in shallow sound waters and collect and identify estuary animals. Specimens collected are released. Limit 3 groups per day.

Grade level: 3rd and up

Beach Walk at Coquina Beach

Identify the animals, plants and shells common to Outer Banks’ beaches and investigate the formation and structure of a beach. Students take samples in the surf zone to learn about waves, discuss marine debris and comb the beach for special finds. Limit 3 groups per day.

Grade level: 3rd and up