School Programs

Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Programs for Pre-Kindergarten and Elementary School (Grades K-5)

In The Sea Series: Families, Hiding, or Buddies (Pre-K)
Preschoolers will investigate and explore animal families, camouflage, or symbiosis in these station-based programs. Students (and chaperones) will learn about sea animals through role play, hands on sequencing or sorting activities, and an art project that students can take back to the classroom. Choose a theme (Families, Hiding, or Buddies) and let the learning begin!

Time: 45 minutes
Fee: $185/class


Fanny Fish (Grades K-1)

Through a participatory story, children are introduced to sea animals by matching, identifying, and describing animal groups. Fish characteristics are reinforced as children help Fanny search for her family. 

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class


The Happy Hermit Crab (Grades K-1)
What?! A hermit crab is not a true crab? Students will examine live hermit crabs (based on availability) and learn about unique hermit crab anatomy by participating in an engaging story and comparing hermit crab bodies to their own bodies. They can take home their own creative craft to remind them of their hermit crab experience.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class


Fins & Feathers (Grades K-2) 
Penguins and fish may share a habitat, but there are stark differences in how they've adapted to survive in the sea. Students will compare and contrast the characteristics of these fascinating animals through biofact investigation, group activity.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class


Designed For The Deep (Grades 1-5)
Could you survive in the ocean? In this program, students learn about adaptations for life in an aquatic environment and develop explanations for their observations through discussion, role-playing, and an examination of biofacts.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class


Marine Mammals (Grades 3-5)
How long can YOU hold your breath? Investigate adaptations for moving, feeding, breathing, and other life functions that all marine mammals need to thrive in marine environments. Through biofact examination and hands-on activities, students will come to appreciate these amazing creatures. Visiting our walruses, sea lions, harbor seals, and otters will help add context to lessons learned.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class

The Edge of The Sea (Grades 1-5)
Make the beach your personal classroom! An exploratory walk on the Coney Island beach introduces your students to a sandy shore habitat. Your students will discover the living and non-living components of this environment by examining sand, making observations, beach combing, classifying "signs of life", and discussing the adaptations of animals that survive in our local marine ecosystem (offered spring and fall only).

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210/class


Tour (Grades 2 and Up): See below to read more about our Tour option.

Scroll to the end of the page to review program registration information.


Programs for Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Fish: Diversity and Adaptations
Students will learn about the survival strategies of one of the most successful vertebrates on earth. The class begins with hands-on group work exploring typical fish behavior and common physical characteristics. After this class, students will view Aquarium exhibits with new appreciation for the remarkable array of adaptations found in this group of animals.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210/class


Survival Beneath the Surface (Grades 6-8):
Students are encouraged to think critically about how animals adapt to survive in a world that is wet. Through discussion, visual instruction, and handling of biofacts, students will be able to identify visual evidence of adaptations and make predictions about how aquatic animals are especially adapted to their habitats.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210


The Edge of The Sea (Grades 6-8)
Make the beach your personal classroom! Join us on an exploratory walk on the Coney Island beach that introduces your class to a sandy shore habitat. Your students will discover the living and non-living components of this environment by examining sand, making observations, beach combing, classifying "signs of life", and discussing the adaptations of animals that survive in our local marine ecosystem (offered spring and fall only).

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210/class

Tour (Grades 2 and Up): See below to read more about our Tour option.

Scroll to the end of the page to review program registration information.


Programs for High School (Grades 9-12)

Fish: Diversity and Adaptations
Students will learn about the survival strategies of one of the most successful vertebrates on earth. The class begins with hands-on group work exploring typical fish behavior and common physical characteristics. After this class, students will view Aquarium exhibits with new appreciation for the remarkable array of adaptations found in this group of animals.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210/class


Coral Reef Ecology
Some of the world's most diverse and dazzling animals inhabit the coral reef ecosystem. Through visual aids and lively discourse, biofact investigations and exhibit viewing at coral reef tanks, students will discover why the balance between coral reefs and their inhabitants is so fragile.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $210/class

Tour (Grades 2 and Up): See below to read more about our Tour option.

Scroll to the end of the page to review program registration information.


Tours (Grades 2 and up)

Explore the New York Aquarium’s amazing animals with a guided tour lead by one of our conservation education instructors. This 1-hour tour will touch upon a variety of topics that may highlight, among other subjects, classification, adaptations, habitats, biodiversity, conservation, and climate change. Our collection provides for us very special teachable moments to solidify concepts approached in the formal classroom. When booking your tour, please let us know what will best meet your learning goals.

Time: 1 hour
Fee: $200/class (Grades 2 and up)


School or Group Program Registration and Trip Information

1. Registration for the 2013-14 school season will begin on September 9th, 2013. Program bookings will begin on October 1st, 2013. All program fees include admission and parking for one (1) bus.

2. To make a reservation for a NYA education program, please complete this online program request form. One form must be completed by each teacher or group leader. After the completed form is submitted, the NYA Education Registrar will contact you within 2 days to book your program based on availabilities. Feel free to contact us regarding our programs or the registration process at (718) 265-3457 or via email to nyaregistrar@wcs.org, Monday through Friday, between 9:00am and 4:30pm. For a self-guided group visit (that is, a visit without an NYA educator-lead program), please contact the Group Sales office by phone at 1-800-433-4149 or via email at wcsgroupsales@wcs.org.

3. The maximum program class size accepted at the NYA is 35 individuals (adults and students combined). Schools or groups are not allowed to combine classes to reach a class size of 35. One adult for every ten students is highly recommended, with a maximum of five adults.

4. We welcome students with special needs. Please be sure to mention special needs or disabilities when registering so that we can work with you to tailor the program to meet your needs. We require one adult for every two students in special education classes (maximum class size of 12 students).

5. Once your information has been processed, a confirmation letter with program information, including session dates, times and classroom locations will be emailed to you. This letter serves as your admission ticket and must be shown at the entrance gate at the New York Aquarium on the date(s) of the scheduled program date.

6. Cancellation and Refund Policy: You must send your cancellation in writing to the New York Aquarium Education Department. If you cancel at least 4 weeks in advance, then you will receive a 90% refund. If you cancel 2-4 weeks in advance, then you will receive a 50% refund. There are no refunds for programs cancelled fewer than 2 weeks before the program date. Rescheduling may be possible depending on availability. We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel classes depending on unforeseen circumstances.


Field Trip FAQs: Getting the most out of your trip to the New York Aquarium