Field Trips

Education Programs

Oceans of
Discovery
Await You

We are thrilled that you have chosen the National Aquarium, Baltimore, for a school field trip. A visit to the Aquarium is your students' passport to discovering the world's aquatic treasures! The steps above guide you to all the resources you need to plan a field trip to the Aquarium.

Reservations for the 2013–2014 school year will be accepted beginning June 19, 2013, at 9 a.m.

For Maryland teachers, these steps should include completing the teacher orientation workshop, which provides helpful resources and allows you to look at the Aquarium's exhibits to help prepare for your field trip.

Helpful Tips to Get You Started

  • Work from your school’s calendar to select visitation dates that allow enough time to meet deposit and final payment deadlines.
  • Select several possible dates and be flexible with entry times from 10–11:30 a.m. The tickets sell out quickly, so consider visiting after lunch.
  • Avoid the crowds and schedule your class visit during our off-peak times: September, December (prior to Christmas), afternoons in October–March, and Mondays in October–May.
  • Aquarium admission fees are listed in Step 2.

Step 1: View Aquarium Programs

Enhance your field trip experience through scientific investigations, hands-on discovery activities, presentations, and encounters with live animals in one of the Aquarium’s classroom or auditorium programs. All programs support the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum. Teacher booklets are available to provide classroom activities that prepare your students for the program and facilitate reflection and discussion after the visit. Where appropriate, activities model performance assessment.

Fees and availability of programs are subject to change. Program fees are waived for the first 2,000 Maryland school students with a reservation. Programs offered October 1, 2013–May 31, 2014:

Aquatic Critters (Grades Pre-K–1)

Horseshoe crab, hermit crab, whelk—oh my! Touch and learn about the remarkable horseshoe crab that appears on Atlantic beaches each spring. What do a hermit crab and a whelk have in common? They live in the same shell, but at different times. Examine a live whelk and hermit crab, as well as artifacts from these animals. Curriculum 1A, 3A

Program Length: 20 minutes
Live Animal*: Yes
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 10–50
Cost: $5 per person

*Live animals are subject to change based upon availability.


Maryland Backyard (Grades Pre-k to 1)

What kind of animals can you find right here in the state of Maryland? Take a trip into the Aquarium’s backyard as we discover ravens, squirrels, opossums, and deer. Listen as our friend Randy the Raccoon introduces us to these wild neighbors and help him solve the problems of his forest friends. Meet a real Maryland native and learn how to make a happy home for him, as well as examine artifacts from these animals.

Program Length: 30 minutes
Live Animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday – Friday
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 10-50
Cost: $5 per person

*Live animals are subject to change based upon availability.


Blacktip Reef (Grades 1–12)

Students will delve into the underwater ecosystem that is the Indo-Pacific reef. They will come away with an understanding of what a coral is, what major threats are facing the world’s coral reefs today, and what animals call this unique fragile habitat their home. After the presentation students will visit the Black-Tip Reef exhibit and put their observation skills to the test, completing a worksheet about animal behavior and changes they see throughout the reef.

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal*: No
Days Offered: Tuesday–Thursday (only offered November–February)
Times Offered: 10 a.m.
Number of Students: 25–150
Cost: $5 per person


National Aquarium Animal Rescue Program (Grades 6–12)

Ever wonder what the National Aquarium Animal Rescue Program does? Learn how the Aquarium rescues, rehabilitates and helps marine animals. Follow the story of one of our rescued animals and learn how to diagnosis their condition, treatment methods and the technology that was used to help in the release of this animal. Students will also learn what they can do to help aid marine animals.

Program Length: 45 minutes
Days Offered: Monday–Friday
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday-Friday; plus 1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday
Number of Students: 12-64
Cost: $7 per person


Adaptations (Grades 2–4)

Students become detectives looking for clues on the “Creature Lab Coat” as they deduce how adaptations help animals survive. Observe, compare, and study adaptations of live animals. Curriculum 1A, 3A, 3C

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal*: Yes
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 12–64
Cost: $7 per person

*Live animals are subject to change based upon availability.


Bountiful Biomes (Grades 2–4)

Investigate biomes all over the world, ranging from the distant rain forests and deserts to the forests found just outside the schoolyard. Discover how animals use adaptations to survive in these very different places. Curriculum 1A, 1B, 3A, 3F, 6B

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal*: Yes
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 12–64
Cost: $7 per person

*Live animals are subject to change based upon availability. 


Chesapeake Bay Explorations (Grades 4–6)

Oysters are indicators of the Chesapeake Bay’s health. Test water samples, measure oysters, and draw conclusions about the state of the Bay. Curriculum 1A, 1C, 2C, 2E, 3A, 3E, 3F, 6A, 6B

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal: No
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 12–64
Cost: $7 per person


Trash in a Marsh (Grades 3–5)

Marshes are critical habitats that are being negatively impacted by humans. In this program, students investigate the types and quantity of trash found at a marsh adjacent to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore. Students will then use the data to determine where this trash came from and how they can take action to prevent further trash from reaching the marsh. Curriculum 1D

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal: No
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students: 12–64
Cost: $7 per person


Squid Dissection Lab (Grades 5–12)

Investigate an unusual mollusk through discussion and dissection. Discover how form and function of the squid’s basic anatomy help this efficient predator survive in the ocean. Curriculum 1A, 3A, 3D

Program Length: 45 minutes
Live Animal: No
Times Offered: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday–Friday; plus, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Number of Students (min-max): 12–64
Cost: $7 per person


Watershed Moments (Grades 1–12)

What does baseball have to do with the Chesapeake Bay? And just who is “Fertilizer Fred”, and what is he doing that is bad for the Bay? Find out in this engaging presentation that focuses on the Chesapeake Bay watershed and its fascinating animals. Curriculum 1A, 3A, 3F, 6A, 6B

Program Length: 30 minutes
Live Animal: No
Days Offered: Tuesday–Thursday (only offered November through February)
Times Offered: 10 a.m.
Number of Students: 25–150
Cost: $5 per person


Behind-the-Scenes Tour (Grades 9–12)

Designed for advanced high school biology groups, the tour emphasizes water chemistry, animal care, exhibit maintenance, and aquarium careers. Walk through back-up areas to experience new sights, sounds, and smells! Maryland High School Core Learning Goal, Biology 3.6.2: Investigate a biological issue (societal roles of Aquaria and Zoos) and defend a position.

Program Length: 90 minutes
Live Animal: No
Days Offered: Tuesday–Thursday
Times Offered: 1 p.m.
Number of Students: 12–40
Cost: $10 per person


Phylum Lab (Grades 9–12)

Did you know that 98% of all animals are classified into eight main categories called phyla? Investigate the characteristics of each phylum through live animals and artifacts. Maryland High School Core Learning Goal, Biology 3.4.2: Biology 3.4.2: Estimate degrees of relatedness among organisms or species.

Program Length: 75 minutes
Live Animal*: Yes
Days Offered: Wednesday
Times Offered: 9:30 a.m.
Number of Students: 12–32
Cost: $10 per person

*Live animals are subject to change based upon availability.

Step 2: View Fees and Chaperone Requirements

Tour the aquarium with your students and chaperones weekdays from September 2, 2013–June 27, 2014. Advance reservations are required for all school groups.

Admission Fees

Fees and availability of free admission are subject to change. Fees are applicable Monday–Friday for schools with a reservation.

Maryland Schools

Students in grades Pre-K–12 are FREE from September 2, 2013–February 27, 2014. Teachers from some counties in Maryland must attend the Aquarium’s teacher orientation to qualify for free admission.

The prices below are per person.

September 2, 2013–February 29, 2014
Grades Pre-K–12: Aquarium Admission: FREE, 4D Immersion Film: $5

March 1–June 27, 2014
Grades Pre-K–6: Aquarium Admission: $16.95, 4D Immersion Film: $5
Grades 7–12: Aquarium Admission: $18.95, 4D Immersion Film: $5

Chaperone rates within ratio (see below under "Chaperone Requirements"):
Aquarium Admission: FREE, 4D Immersion Film: $5

Chaperone counts above and beyond these ratios:
Aquarium Admission: $21.95; 4D Immersion Film: $5


Out-of-State Schools

September 2, 2013–June 27, 2014
Grades Pre-K–6: Aquarium Admission: $16.95, 4D Immersion Film: $5
Grades 7–12: Aquarium Admission: $18.95, 4D Immersion Film: $5

Program Fees

The Aquarium’s education programs are FREE to the first 3,000 Maryland school students with a reservation. There is a three-program limit per school. For program information and fees, click on the Step 1 tab above.

Deposit

A deposit of $75 and all fees for education programs are due 21 days prior to your visit date. Deposit requirements for Maryland groups with free admission may vary. Purchase orders and vouchers are not accepted in lieu of payment.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

You must cancel your reservation more than 21 days in advance of your scheduled visit to receive a full refund of payments. If you cancel your reservation less than 21 days in advance or fail to arrive at your scheduled entry time, you forfeit the deposit and all program fees. Maryland groups with free admission will be assessed a $75 cancellation fee.

Group Size

Each group must have a minimum of 15 students ages 3 and over. The maximum group size for grades Pre-K and K is 60 students, and for grades 1–12 is 125 students. Group size limits vary according to availability—larger groups may be split and assigned multiple reservations and entry times.

Chaperone Requirements

Each group must be accompanied by adult chaperones at all times. Teachers count as chaperones.

Grades Number of Adults Free Number of Adults Required
Pre-K and K 1 adult per 5 students 1 adult per 5 students
1–5 1 adult per 6 students 1 adult per 10 students
6–8 1 adult per 8 students 1 adult per 10 students
9–12 1 adult per 10 students 1 adult per 10 students
Special Ed 1 adult per student 1 adult per 10 students

Chaperone rates within ratio:

  • Aquarium Admission: Free
  • 4D Immersion Film: $5

Chaperone counts above and beyond these ratios pay the school group chaperone rate:

  • Aquarium Admission: $21.95
  • 4D Immersion Film: $5

Step 3: Make a Reservation

To book a field trip or any of the education programs, please communicate your request via one of the methods below. Teachers booking reservations for an Aquarium field trip can also use this form.

By phone: 410-576-3833

By fax: 410-986-2334

By e-mail: reserve@aqua.org

Upon receipt of your reservation acknowledgement, verify all information and return the signed agreement with your deposit. You must confirm your reservation at least 21 days prior to your visit to prevent cancellation.

Step 4: Download Additional Planning Resources

Pre-trip Planning Packet
Prepare for your upcoming field trip to the National Aquarium, Baltimore.

Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunt Answers
Download this fun and engaging scavenger hunt for chaperones and groups of students, grades 1-5.

Adaptations Scavenger Hunt
Adaptations Scavenger Hunt Answers
Conservation Scavenger Hunt
Conservation Scavenger Hunt Answers

Download these engaging Scavenger Hunts for grades 6-8.

Souvenir Order Form
Pre-order souvenir kits for your students.

Box Lunch Menu and Order Form
Great for groups! Pre-order box lunches for the day of your visit.

Photo Package Options
School Group Pricing 

Teacher's Curriculum Guide
This guide prepares teachers and chaperones for a successful and educational field trip to the National Aquarium, Baltimore.

Student Activity Guide, Grades 3–5
Student Activity Guide, Grades 6–8
Student Activity Guide, Grades 9–12
These guides provide activities for before, during, and after a field trip to the National Aquarium, Baltimore. All the activities are correlated to the Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum.

Teacher Booklets
Teacher booklets contain pre- and post-Aquarium-visit activities on a variety of subjects for students of all grades.


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How to Reserve

Reservations for the 2013–2014 school year will be accepted beginning June 19, 2013, at 9 a.m.

 

National Aquarium - Harbor Market Promo

4-D Immersion Films

4-D Theater

Shows Daily

The Aquarium's 4-D Immersion Films bring you closer to the sights, sounds, and smells of the action.