The Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit is temporarily closed through Fall 2022.

What Lives in the Harbor

Meaningful Watershed Education Experience

  • Duration

    Long Term

  • Grades

    6; Baltimore City Public Schools Only

  • Price

    Free for Baltimore City Public Schools Only

  • Where

    Main Aquarium Campus,

    Your School or Location,



The National Aquarium engages sixth-grade students from Baltimore City Public Schools in researching aquatic species that live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Students test water quality in the Inner Harbor outside the Aquarium to form hypotheses about what Chesapeake Bay animals live there before testing their hypotheses by conducting an animal survey. After their investigation, students recommend community action projects to improve the health of the local watershed.

For the 2021-2022 school year, we will be offering three options for participation in the What Lives in the Harbor program:

  • Outdoor Field Experience at the National Aquarium
  • In-School Field Experience at your school, offered per classroom. For schools that cannot come to the Aquarium but will allow Aquarium staff into their building, Aquarium experts will bring water samples and water quality testing equipment to your classroom(s) for an in-school field experience.
  • Virtual Field Experience, offered per classroom. The virtual option will be broken up into three sessions. The first session will be a pre-lesson facilitated by the teacher. The second and third sessions will be facilitated by Aquarium staff.

Extensive online student and teacher curricula, including original video experiment content, are available to all participating schools and educators. In-person, virtual and self-guided Professional Development for teachers enrolled in this program, which provides a stipend of $30/hr. and CPD credit are also offered. If you are interested in signing up for this program, begin your registration by clicking the button below to gain access to the materials and reserve your school's field experience. You may contact us with any questions at

Accessing Virtual Programs

The National Aquarium uses Zoom as our platform for virtual programming. If you are required by your school to use a different platform, you will need to arrange in advance to host the session on that platform and invite Aquarium staff to the meeting.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter Sign up to receive updates on animals, news and events.