Explore Marine Biology in the Southeast with These Aquariums
Looking to integrate marine biology or environmentalism into your STEM adventure. Consider these exceptional institutions across the American Southeast.
Ranked as one of the top USA aquariums on TripAdvisor, this is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. This aquarium holds over 10 million gallons of water, with an even bigger expansion coming fall 2020. Offering children’s art classes, instructor-led school programs and multiple summer camp options from kids ages 5-13, this aquarium is a great way for kids to see their favorite animals, while also learning valuable information on conservation.
Within the Chattanooga aquarium’s two buildings, visitors can learn the importance of biodiversity and the restoration of ecosystems. This aquarium shows the freshwater animals that can be found within their own region and the state of Tennessee. By offering job shadowing opportunities and teen summer camps, this is a great way for them to learn about the possible careers in sustainability and animal conservation.
This aquarium in Newport, Kentucky offers many different programs specific to students. Their “Field Experience Curriculum” for students K-12 offers a self-guided tour where students will receive worksheets and guidebooks to learn and answer questions about the animals. In their “Backstage Learning Experience” for kids in grade 3-12, students will get an additional 30-minute backstage tour of how workers and volunteers care for their freshwater and saltwater animals. Their “Penguin Encounter” program is for 1st – 12th graders, where students get a special 20-minute tour to get a much closer look at the aquarium’s African Penguins.
This Tampa aquarium offers many programs to promote the education of students. While offering summer and school year camps, including a scuba specific camp, they also have their own unique Teacher Study Program. This is a program for teachers, principals and other school workers in Florida to learn the most important things about the aquarium and plan and/or prepare for a field trip.
The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab
This is an education-specific public aquarium on Dauphin Island, Alabama. Not only do they highlight the animals that are found in the state of Alabama, but they also show the state’s plants and other natural resources. They offer school curriculum programs that discuss estuaries, why they are important to ecosystems and give worksheets to further aid in learning.
The main attraction of this Gatlinburg, Tennessee aquarium is their “Glass Bottom Boat Adventure.” This offers a truly “up-close and personal” experience with sharks, sea turtles and thousands of other sea creatures. They also offer programs like “Penguin Encounter,” “Splash with Stingrays,” “Turtle Time,” and “Penguin Paintings.” Ripley’s Aquarium really wants to offer a unique experience while also focusing on the education and learning about animals.
North Carolina Aquarium
Unique to this aquarium, the North Carolina aquarium offers a “Live Shipwreck” experience with a WWII shipwreck replica while students are surrounded by sharks, river otters and hundreds of other aquatic species. They offer teacher and self-led tours of many different programs, showcasing alligators, sharks and jellyfish at their Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina location.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans shows animals from the Caribbean and the Amazon Rainforest to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. They offer six different aquatic camps, for Pre-k to 12th grade that allow students to learn about sharks, squids and ocean conservation and cleanup.