Education Programs

Field Trips

Overview

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

Reservations for the 2017-2018 school year will be accepted beginning June 14, 2017 at 9 am.

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. Tickets for entry from 10 am to 11:30 am 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 through March and Mondays in October through 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 National 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 your visit. Where appropriate, activities will model performance assessment.

Fees and availability of programs are subject to change. Program fees are waived for the first 3,000 Maryland school students with a reservation. Programs are available October 3, 2017 to April 11, 2018:

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.

Grades: Pre-K - 1
Program length: 20 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 10 to 50
Cost: $5 per person


Maryland Backyard (Grades pre-K - 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, and examine artifacts from these animals.

Grades: Pre-K - 1
Program length: 30 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 10 to 50
Cost: $5 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.

Grades: 2 - 4
Program length: 45 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 12 to 64
Cost: $7 per person


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.

Grades: 2 - 4
Program length: 45 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 12 to 64
Cost: $7 per person


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.

Grades: 4 - 6
Program length: 45 minutes
Live animal*: No
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 12 to 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.

Grades:5 - 12
Program length: 45 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of students: 12 to 64
Cost: $7 per person


Aquarium Careers – National Aquarium Animal Rescue Program (Grades 6 - 12)

Ever wonder how the National Aquarium Animal Rescue program works? Learn how the Aquarium rescues and rehabilitates marine animals. Follow the story of one of our rescued animals, and learn how the animal’s condition was diagnosed, methods for the animal’s treatment and the technology that was used to help release this animal. Students will also learn what they can do to help marine animals.

Grades: 6 - 12
Program length: 45 minutes
Live animal*: No
Days offered: Monday - Friday
Times offered: 10 am and 11:30 am Monday – Friday and 1 pm Tuesday - Thursday
Number of Students: 12 to 64
Cost: $7 per person


Phylum Lab (Grades 7–12)

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

Grades: 7 - 12
Program length: 75 minutes
Live animal*: Yes
Days offered:Wednesday
Times offered: 9:30 am
Number of Students: 12 to 32
Cost: $10 per person

Behind-the-Scenes Tour(Grades 9–12)

Designed for advanced high school biology groups, this 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.

Grades: 9 - 12
Program length: 90 minutes
Live animal*: No
Days offered: Tuesday - Thursday
Times offered: 1pm
Number of Students: 12 to 40
Cost: $10 per person

Step 2: View Fees and Chaperone Requirements

$27.95 for adults
$17.95 for children pre-K to sixth grade
$23.95 for students in seventh to 12th grade
$25.95 for seniors

Tour the National Aquarium with your students and chaperones weekdays from September 1, 2017 to June 22, 2018. Advance reservations are required for all school groups.

Admission Fees

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

Maryland Schools

Students in grades pre-K through 12 are FREE from September 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018. Teachers from Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County or Prince George’s County must attend the Aquarium’s teacher orientation to qualify for free admission.

The prices below are per person.

September 1, 2017 - February 28, 2018 
Grades pre-K – 12: Aquarium Admission: FREE

March 1, 2017 - June 22, 2018
Grades pre-K – 6: Aquarium Admission: $18.95
Grades 7 – 12: Aquarium Admission: $21.95

Chaperone rates within ratio (see below under "Chaperone Requirements"):
Aquarium Admission: FREE;

Chaperone counts above and beyond these ratios:
Aquarium Admission: $27.95


Out-of-State Schools

September 1, 2017–June 22, 2018
Grades Pre-K–6: Aquarium Admission: $17.95
Grades 7–12: Aquarium Admission: $23.95


Program Fees

The National Aquarium’s education programs are FREE to the first 3,000 Maryland school students with a reservation. There is a limit of three programs 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 older. The maximum group size for grades pre-K and kindergarten is 60 students; for grades 1 through 12, the maximum group size 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
1–6 1 adult per 6 students 1 adult per 10 students
7–12 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

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

  • Aquarium Admission: $27.95

Step 3: Make a Reservation

To request a field trip or any of the education programs, please fill out this form. Once submitted, your request will be processed by the Central Reservations department. You will be contacted with any questions regarding our request. You will receive an email confirmation once your request has been processed. You can contact the Central Reservations department about your request via one of the methods below.

By phone: 410-576-3833

By fax: 410-986-2334

By email: reserve@aqua.org

Upon receipt of your reservation confirmation, 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
Parent Newsletter (Spanish)
Prepare for your upcoming field trip to the National Aquarium.

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.

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.


Back to the Top

Field Trips

Maryland Schools Visit Free

Maryland students in grades Pre-K–12 are free from September 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018..

Teachers must attend the Aquarium’s teacher orientation to qualify for free admission.

4-D Theater

4-D Immersion Films

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

Coming Soon

Harbor Market Kitchen

Dine at the Aquarium

Field Trip Guide: Chaperones

chaperone

Field Trip Guide: Teachers

teachers