Aquarium Discovery Programs

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FHR-STEM-Center-Logos_Page_2-300x137Texas State Aquarium is excited to offer students a variety of new and updated experiences that compliment classroom curriculum, align with grade specific TEKS concepts and process skills, and promote STEM exploration.

Aquarium Discovery Programs are designed specifically for K-12 students visiting the Aquarium and its local marine environs. Students participating in programs will be immersed in hands-on, student-centered STEM activities that promote investigation, critical thinking and creativity. Aquarium Discovery Programs are grade appropriate, TEKS aligned and conducted within the Aquarium’s own diverse habitats, classrooms and nearby marine environments.

September through February are great months to visit the Aquarium with your students! We’ve planned DEEP DISCOUNTS and programming to help schools and teachers take advantage of these opportunities during fall and winter. Don’t miss these great offers. Plan and book your visit today! Please register for programs at least two weeks in advance. For more information or registration, please call (361) 881-1201 or email educationprograms@txstateaq.org.

 

 

 

Planning Your Visit

Please call (361) 881-1201 or email educationprograms@txstateaq.org for reservations at least two weeks in advance. Be sure to have a first and second choice date for your visit, programs and dates can fill up quickly.

One chaperone (teacher/parent) per every ten students will be admitted free of charge to provide support, guidance and behavior supervision for students while at the Aquarium. Chaperones are expected to communicate and enforce Aquarium etiquette/behavioral guidelines to their students before and during the Aquarium visit. Additional adult chaperones will each be charged the adult group rate ($13.50 September-February and $15.50 March-August).

Aquarium etiquette/behavioral guidelines:

  • Have a great day learning, exploring and sharing your experience with friends/classmates.
  • Ensure that all students read and sign the Texas State Aquarium Behavioral Agreement forms prior to visit.
  • Stay with your assigned chaperone/students at all times during the visit.
  • Be courteous of other visitors and groups by walking, using “inside voices,” and sharing space at or in front of exhibits or shows.
  • Stay on marked sidewalks and pathways and behind all railings and fences.
  • Avoid tapping or knocking on exhibit windows/glass, as it disturbs the animals.
  • Touch only the animals labeled as “touchable” or where you are invited to touch by an Aquarium staff or volunteer person.
  • Please do not bring outside food, drinks or gum into the Aquarium.

Plan a Pre-Visit

Visit the Aquarium before you book your program or class visit and get in free! Check out the newest exhibits, plan your route and preview the Wild Flight and Dolphin presentations. Teachers can take part in TSA’s “Pre-Visit/Free-visit” program by calling ahead and reserving their pre-visit date and time.

SeaLab Programs

Some Aquarium programs are offered at SeaLab, our nearby education building located along Rincon Canal, or at nearby marine environments. Programs offered at SeaLab or nearby environments (“field expeditions”) do not include same day admission to the Aquarium; admission can be purchased at the deeply discounted price of $6.50 per student.  Once registered, teachers will receive detailed directions to the location of each program.

Photo/Video Notification

In our efforts to promote and improve upon our programming the Aquarium will occasionally photograph and/or videotape instructor-student/participant interactions and activities. Included in your Teacher Aquarium Visit packet is the Texas State Aquarium notification of photo/video activity and release. Please contact us if you have concerns or questions.

Creature Tales   

A popular children’s story comes alive with puppets, interactive play and a live animal meet and greet.  After listening and role-playing along with the storyteller, students will observe and touch a special animal from the story/book. PreK Guidelines Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary, Motivation to Read, Text Read Aloud Skills; Physical & Life Science. TEKS:  Science K.2, 4, 9; Language Arts: K.1, 4, 8

30 min.*    |    Fee:  $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-May)    |    Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 20 students ;may vary depending on program    |    *Programs booked two per hour

 


 

Self-Guided Visit

Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, can be a creative and fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow near shore habitats to its deep-blue depths by exploring the inside galleries. Step outside to touch stingrays, see a Wild Flight or Dolphin show, and/or observe the sea turtles. Every turn brings with it an adventure. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self Guided Resources.

Fee: $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10.00/student (March-April); $11.50/student (May) 

Fish is a Fish

What makes a fish a fish? Discover the special characteristics common to most fish, and which fish have unique features all their own! Students will observe, compare, contrast, and use identification tools to seek out and investigate some of the Aquarium’s diverse fishes. Program wraps up at Saving Sharks or Sting Ray Lagoon for live animal touch experience.  TEKS: Science K-2:1-4; K9B, 10A, B; 1.9C; 10A; 2.9A, c; 10A; 3.9A; 10A

60 min.    |      Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-April)     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Animal Homes Tour

The Gulf of Mexico is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem that supports a wide range of life, from tiny phytoplankton to the largest mammals in the ocean. Its unique habitats provide the necessary shelter, nutrients and interactions for animals and plants to survive and thrive. During this interactive and hands-on tour, explore a variety of near shore and deep sea habitat homes. Make observations, describe and compare living and non-living objects and identify animal characteristics for survival. TEKS: Science K-2:1-4;K 9A,B; 10A,B; 1.9A, B; 10A; 2.9A, C; 10A; 3.9A; 10A

60 min.     |      Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-April)     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Self-Guided Visit

Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, can be a creative and fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow near shore habitats to its deep-blue depths by exploring the inside galleries. Step outside to touch stingrays, see a Wild Flight or Dolphin show, and/or observe the sea turtles. Every turn brings with it an adventure. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self Guided Resources.

Fee: $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10.00/student (March-April); $11.50/student (May)

Squid-ology

Investigate the wild world of cephalopods, those “head-foot” animals in the phylum Mollusca. By observing, identifying, comparing and contrasting, and describing students will discover the special characteristics of the phylum Mollusca, as well as the adaptations that squid use to eat, move, and protect themselves from predators. Students will conduct an external and internal dissection of a squid. Offered at SeaLab. Enhance your program with a same day trip to the Aquarium’s Tentacles exhibit.  TEKS: Science 3-5.1-4; 4.10A; 5.9A & 10A

60 min.     |     Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-May) Same day Aquarium admission $6.50/student     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Marine Adventures

Students will work independently, and as a team, to investigate animal adaptations, habitats and interactions to solve a mini-marine mystery. Focusing on Gulf of Mexico habitats, students will use observation, deduction and communication to determine the best solution to their marine mystery. TEKS: Science 3.1B; 2A, B; 3A; 3.9A, 10A; 4.1B; 2A, B; 3A; 4A; 4.10A; 5.1B; 2A, B, C, D; 3A; 4A 5. 9A & 10A

90 min.      |      Fee: $9.50/student (Sept-Feb); $11.50/student (March-April)     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Conserving our Oceans Tour

Meet program experts and see research in action as you explore a few of the conservation projects the Aquarium undertakes and supports during this engaging behind the scenes tour. From growing and restoring coral reefs to tracking sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, students will observe and examine how zoos and aquariums preserve and protect wildlife. Students will also reflect on their own daily actions, assessing their impact (negative and positive) on the environment. TEKS: Science 3.2B, F; 3A; 4A; ; 3.9; 4.2B, F; 4A; 4.10; 5.2B, C, D; 3A; 4A; 5.9

60 min.      |      Fee: $10.50/student (Sept-May)     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 15 students

 


 

Marine Habitats Tour

The Gulf of Mexico is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem that supports a wide range of life, from tiny phytoplankton to the largest mammals in the ocean. Its unique habitats provide the necessary shelter, nutrients and interactions for organisms to survive and thrive. During this interactive and hands-on tour, explore a variety of nearshore and deep sea environments. Make observations, predictions and comparisons of the inhabitants and their adaptations for survival. TEKS: Science 3.9A, 10.A; 4.10A; 5.9A, 10A

60 min.      |      Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-April)     |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Self-Guided Visit

Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, can be a creative and fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow near shore habitats to its deep-blue depths by exploring the inside galleries. Step outside to touch stingrays, see a Wild Flight or Dolphin show, and/or observe the sea turtles. Every turn brings with it an adventure. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self Guided Resources.

Fee: $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10/student (March-April); $11.50/student (May)

Exploring Squid

Investigate the wild world of cephalopods, those “head-foot” animals in the phylum Mollusca. Students will dissect a squid, exploring both external and internal anatomy. While observing, identifying and describing squid adaptations, students will compare similarities and differences to other cephalopods (e.g., octopus and cuttlefish) and mollusks (e.g., clams, snails, slugs). Offered at SeaLab. Enhance your program with a same day trip to the Aquarium’s Tentacles exhibit. TEKS: Science 6.1; 2A; 3A;4A; 6C; 7.1A, 2A, C; 3A; 4A; 11A, B; 12A; 8.1A, B; 2A,C; 3A; 4A

90 min.      |     Fee: $9.50/student (Sept-Feb); $11.50/student (March-May) Same day Aquarium admission $6.50/student       |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Bay Bytes

During this investigation based program students will make observations, ask questions, interpret data, construct explanations, and share ideas to construct and present a profile of the Rincon Canal environment. Students will work in groups (teams) to conduct their investigations and construct their profile of the canal’s biotic and abiotic environment. Each team will rotate through a variety of stations inside and outside the SeaLab facility. TEKS: Science 1-4; 6.12E; 7.10A, B; 11A, B; 12A; 8.11B, C, D

120 min.      |     Fee: $10/student (Sept-Feb); $12.00/student (March-May) Same day Aquarium admission $6.50/student     |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students

 


 

Conserving our Oceans Tour

Meet program experts and see research in action as you explore a few of the conservation projects the Aquarium undertakes and supports during this stimulating behind the scenes tour. From growing and restoring coral reefs to tracking sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, students will observe and examine how zoos and aquariums preserve and protect wildlife. Students will also reflect on their own daily actions, assessing their impact (negative and positive) on the environment. TEKS: Science 7.10A; 12A; 8.11B, C; Social Studies 6.7 & 20; 7.10 & 20; 8.11 & 27

60 min.      |     Fee: $10.50/student (Sept-May)     |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 15 students

 


 

Marine Environment Tour

The Gulf of Mexico is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem that supports a wide range of life, from tiny phytoplankton to the largest mammals in the ocean. Its unique marine environments provide the necessary shelter, nutrients and interactions for organisms to survive and thrive. During this interactive and hands-on tour, explore a variety of near shore and deep sea environments. Make observations, predictions and comparisons of the inhabitants from their adaptations to their interactions for survival. TEKS: Science 6.4A; 12E, F; 7.4A; 10A, B; 11A, B; 8.4A; 11B, D

60 min.      |      Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-April)     |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Self-Guided Visit

Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, can be a creative and fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow near shore habitats to its deep-blue depths by exploring the inside galleries. Step outside to touch stingrays, see a Wild Flight or Dolphin show, and/or observe the sea turtles. Every turn brings with it an adventure. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self Guided Resources.

Fee: $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10.00/student (March-April); $11.50/student (May)

Squid: Inside & Out

Investigate the wild world of cephalopods, those “head-foot” animals in the phylum Mollusca. Students will explore the taxonomic classification of squid, and some of their closest “relatives,” identifying distinguishing features and behaviors. The investigation continues with the dissection of a squid, highlighting external and internal features used for locomotion, defense, feeding, and communication. Offered at SeaLab. Enhance your program with a same day trip to the Aquarium’s Tentacles exhibit. TEKS:  Biology 1A, B; 3A; 8, A, C; Aquatic 1A, B; 2G; 10B

90 min.      |      Fee: $9.50/student (Sept-Feb); $11.50/student (March-May) Same day Aquarium admission $6.50/student     |     Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Field Expedition: Wonderful Wetlands

Wetlands are unique and valuable coastal marine environments. What better way to explore and investigate these environments then in the field. Students join an “expedition” to a local wetland to profile the flora and fauna, identify and describe human and natural impacts and discuss the unique ecosystem services wetlands provide our regional communities. Program is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of heavy rain or storm warnings. TEKS: Biology 1A, B; 2E, F, G; 3A; 8C; 12A; Aquatic 7A; 9A, B, C; 10A, B, C; 12A, B, C

120 min.      |     Fee: $12/student (Feb-May) Same day Aquarium admission $6.50/student        |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Conserving our Oceans Tour

Meet program experts and see research in action as you explore a few of the conservation projects the Aquarium undertakes and supports during this stimulating behind the scenes tour. From growing and restoring coral reefs to tracking sharks in the Gulf of Mexico, students will observe and examine how zoos and aquariums preserve and protect wildlife. Students will also reflect on their own daily actions, assessing their impact (negative and positive) on the environment and how to make positive changes. TEKS: Aquatic 9B, C; 10A, B; 12A, D; United States History 14A

60 min.      |      Fee: $10/student (Sept-May)     |      Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 15 students

 


 

Marine Ecosystems Tour

The Gulf of Mexico is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem that supports a wide range of life, from tiny phytoplankton to the largest mammals in the ocean. Its unique marine habitats provide the necessary shelter, nutrients and interactions for organisms to survive and thrive. During this interactive and hands-on tour, explore a variety of near shore and deep sea environments. Make observations, predictions and comparisons of the inhabitants and the habitats and their ability to survive natural and human induced changes. TEKS: Biology 12B, C, F; Aquatic 9B, C; 10A, B;

60 min.      |      Fee: $8.50/student (Sept-Feb); $10.50/student (March-April)     |    Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

 


 

Self-Guided Visit

Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, can be a creative and fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow near shore habitats to its deep-blue depths by exploring the inside galleries. Step outside to touch stingrays, see a Wild Flight or Dolphin show, and/or observe the sea turtles. Every turn brings with it an adventure. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self Guided Resources.

Fee: $8.00/student (Sept-Feb); $10/student (March-April); $11.50/student (May)