Aquarium Offers School Programs for All Ages
Did you know that the St. Lucie County Aquarium has school programs designed specifically for different grade levels? Field trips to the Aquarium provide students with the opportunity to explore our local marine ecosystems outside of the classroom in a fun and engaging environment. The diverse and dynamic displays allow students to experience a variety of local marine life up close and to participate in activities they might not otherwise have an opportunity to do. Teachers, homeschoolers, educators and group leaders are encouraged check out the Aquarium’s menu of educational program options when hunting for their next great field trip.
Kindergartners through second graders use a scavenger hunt to explore the Aquarium’s six, live model ecosystem habitats while learning to identify local marine animals and matching them to their habitats. For students in third through fifth grade, the focus shifts to observing marine animals and marine animal behavior in a treasure hunt activity. Older students investigate marine animal adaptations in their respective ecosystems in an engaging activity.
And, if being out in the water is the fieldtrip experience you’re looking for - seining is a great way for students to learn more about the biodiversity of living organisms in the Indian River Lagoon in a hands-on, feet-wet environment. Students are taught to seine and then under the guidance of Smithsonian educators, gently collect live animals in the lagoon for viewing and identifications using our field guide. Educators will talk about the life history of some of the organisms before they are released at the end of the program.
More information, including sample worksheets of activities, can be found on the Aquarium’s website at www.stlucieco.gov/aquarium and then clicking “Aquarium School & Group Programs.” Prices vary depending on program and the tax-exempt status of the school or group. Call the Smithsonian’s education team at 772-465-3271 to book a program or for any questions.
The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit is located in the St. Lucie County Aquarium at 420 Seaway Drive on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce. The Smithsonian Marine Station teamed up with St. Lucie County and other community partners to open this unique educational facility in 2001. The Smithsonian Exhibit is an outreach effort of the Smithsonian Marine Station, a branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. A fixture in the Fort Pierce community for more than 40 years, the Marine Station is dedicated to understanding the character and diversity of the marine and estuarine habitats of Florida.