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Monday - Sunday: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

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Field Trip Education Programs

Field Trip Education Programs

The Florida Aquarium is proud to host classroom, lab, and specialty programs led by an Aquarium Educator. All programs are available during the school year and some special programs are offered year round. All programs offerings are subject to availability.

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Classroom Programs

To help ensure student engagement, each program session has a limited number of students and teachers. One teacher per 10 students will be permitted into a classroom.
Many of our programs can run concurrently in different classrooms or can be offered back to back to accommodate larger group sizes.

In My Backyard

Grade Levels: PreK-1
Program Length: 40 minutes
Session Maximum: 20 students
Cost: $50 per session

During this instructor-led program, students will visit a series of stations highlighting the diversity of backyard habitats in Tampa Bay. The themed early childhood room encourages hands-on learning through investigation and observation.

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Operation: Coral

Grade Levels: 1-8
Program Length: 60 minutes
Session Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $60 per session

A mad scientist has contacted Turtle Base Tampa in need of help! Coral reefs throughout the Florida Keys are changing at an alarming rate. Students are needed to help discover the culprit. During this mission, participants will learn about the history of coral reefs, compare corals around the world and discover ways that humans can help corals. Young learners will use critical thinking and inquiry-based learning strategies to discover challenges that corals and other creatures encounter.

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Operation: Sea Turtle

Grade Levels: 1-8
Program Length: 60 minutes
Session Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $60 per session

The researchers at Turtle Base Tampa have lost contact with Tango, a female loggerhead sea turtle that was tagged when she was young. Returning to nest on her home beach every few years has provided valuable behavioral and tracking data to help expand our knowledge of sea turtles. Students are challenged to help in the search! Spending time at our conservation outpost, participants will learn more about sea turtle life history and how humans and sea turtles can live together in harmony. Students will use critical thinking and inquiry-based learning strategies to discover challenges that sea turtles and other creatures encounter.

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Operation: Shark

Grade Levels: 1-8
Program Length: 60 minutes
Session Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $60 per session

Several species of sharks are threatened, affecting the balance of the ocean. Students must help restore balance to the ocean. During this adventure, participants will learn about different species of sharks, where they can be found, how humans and sharks interact, and ways in which humans can help shark populations. Students will use critical thinking and inquiry-based learning strategies to discover challenges that sharks and other creatures encounter.

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Coral, Shark, or Sea Turtle Mini

Grade Levels: 1-8
Program Length: 30 minutes
Session Maximum: 30 students
Cost: $40 per session

Choose between three important and mysterious creatures; coral, sharks, or sea turtles! Students take a quick dive into the selected habitat to learn about challenges faced and how they can help.

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Labs

These programs provide inquiry-based STEM learning in a laboratory setting. To help ensure student engagement, each program session has a limited number of students and teachers. One teacher per 10 students will be permitted into a classroom. Many of our programs can run concurrently in different classrooms or can be offered back to back to accommodate larger group sizes.

All lab sessions are $90. Each session can accommodate 30 students and is 60 minutes long.

Plankton Lab

Grade Levels: 5-12

Most plankton may be small, but they’ve got a big job to do! Learn about the importance of plankton, and meet live specimens eye-to-eye. Students will spy on the secret world of tiny, living organisms that come straight from Tampa Bay.

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Investigation: Shark

Grade Levels: 3-12

Sharks are critical to the health of our ocean, but what do we do when they are in trouble? Through investigation, observation and critical thinking, students will draw conclusions about what may have happened to a variety of shark species from around the world.

Squid Dissection Lab

Grade Levels: 2-12

Discover the inner and outer workings of an amazing aquatic creature! Join a knowledgeable instructor for a guided look inside a squid. Students will use dissection tools to investigate their animal with their lab group.

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Classify This! Marine Invertebrate Zoology Lab

Grade Levels: 5-12

Dolphins, sharks, game fishes and whales often come to mind when thinking about ocean life, but there are so many interesting and important invertebrates that play a vital role in the ocean food web. Using real invertebrates, such as echinoderms and mollusks, students will learn key features that distinguish each phylum and will use a dichotomous key to learn how scientists classify invertebrates.

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Sedimentology Lab

Grade Levels: 3-12

Tiny sand grains started out as something much bigger! Discover geological processes that shape our beaches, and learn how these processes contribute to components and characteristics of our coastlines. Use microscopes to compare and contrast sand from around the world, and learn to read the story told by the grains of sand on a beach.

Additional Field Trip Programs

 

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Behind the Scenes Tour

Grade Levels: 3-12 and college
Program Length: 45 minutes
Session Maximum: 15 participants, including adults
Cost: $60 per session

Ever wonder what it takes to operate a REALLY big habitat? See a different side of exhibits with this behind the scenes experience where participants will get to take a closer look at animal care and food preparation.

Exploring the Bay

Grades: 3-12 and college students
Program length: 75 minutes (boat departs at 10:30 AM)
Cost: $700
Group size: 90 participants max, including all adults

Board our Bay Spirit II catamaran to see Tampa Bay in a whole new way! Search for dolphins, birds and other aquatic life in their natural habitat. Tours are narrated by an educator.

  • Reservations are required and are available on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Two-week minimum advance notice is required for all Exploring the Bay reservations.
  • Offered Monday through Friday at 10:30 AM. Weekend options may occasionally be available by calling (813) 273-4015.
  • Aquarium admission is not included in the cost of Exploring the Bay, but can be added for an additional cost.
  • A $100 non-refundable deposit is due within one week of reservation. Credit cards or checks are accepted for deposit. Final payment is made on the program day.
  • Groups must check-in at least 30 minutes prior to Exploring the Bay departure.
  • The Aquarium reserves the right to cancel boat programs due to poor weather, technical difficulties or late group arrival.
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