Free Structured School Programs

The Aquarium proudly offers free programming to classes through the donation-funded Structured School Program. Students visiting the Aquarium as part of the Structured School Program participate in classroom activities that reinforce South Carolina state science standards.

The program is offered daily mid-October through mid-May. Teachers of all subjects are invited to apply. At the close of the application process, forms are chosen at random through a lottery system. Our programs are free, but we do require all participating K-12th grade teachers to attend a three-hour training workshop (the first year they are selected) prior to bringing their class to the Aquarium.

Our Program

Students participating in the Structured School Program will take part in grade-specific, standards-based classroom programs. We provide complimentary pre-visit and post-visit standards-based curriculum online.



Students will discover South Carolina habitats and what living creatures need to survive as they play a habitat matching game and meet some of the Aquarium’s live animals.

2014 Science Standards: K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.2, K.L.2A.5, K.L.2A.6, 1.L.5B.1, 1.L.5B.2, 2.L.5B.1, 2.L.5B.2
2005 Science Standards: K-2.1, 1-2.1, 1-2.5, 2-2.1, 2-2.3

K-2 Scavenger Hunt

K-2 Scavenger Hunt Answer Key

Communities (Food Chains and Adaptations)

Students will participate in an interactive game as well as meet some of the Aquarium’s live animals as they discuss food chains and the adaptations organisms need for survival.

2014 Science Standards: 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5A.2, 4.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.3, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3
2005 Science Standards: 3-2.2, 3-2.3, 3-2.4, 3-2.5, 4-2.1, 4-2.2, 4-2.3, 4-2.5, 5-2.3, 5-2.4, 5-2.5

3-5 Scavenger Hunt

3-5 Scavenger Hunt Answer Key

5-8 Watersheds

Environmental Scene Investigation (E.S.I.)! Students solve an environmental investigation. They will run tests, examine case studies and diagnose data to discover who is to blame for the watershed problems.

2014 Science Standards: 5.E.3A.1, 5.E.3B.3, 5.E.3B.4, 5.L.4B.3, 6.E.2A.3, 6.L.4A.1, 6.L.5B.5, 7.P.2B.3, 7.EC.5A.2, 7.EC.5A.3, 7.EC.5B.1, 7.EC.5B.3, 7.EC.5B.4, 8.E.6B.2
2005 Science Standards: 5-3.6, 5-4.8, 6-1.4, 6-3.4, 6-4.2, 7-1.6, 7-4.3, 7-4.5, 7-5.6, 8-1.3, 8-2.1, 8-2.7

6-8 Taxonomy
Students discover the science of classification, taxonomy, by participating in hands-on stations. They will use classification keys to identify fish, examine and touch invertebrates and try their luck at matching animal relatives.
2014 Science Standards: 6.L.4A.2, 6.L.4B.1, 7.L.3B.2
2005 Science Standards: 6-2.2, 6-3.1, 7-3.3, 7-3.4

6-8 Scavenger Hunt

6-8 Scavenger Hunt Answer Key

Human Impacts (Sea Turtles)

Sea Turtle Emergency Room! Students will participate in a mock diagnosis of two injured sea turtles by examining x-rays, sifting through fecal samples, running blood tests and doing external observations. They will discover why sea turtles strand and what they can do to help.

2014 Science Standards: H.B.6C.1, H.B.6D.1
2005 Science Standards: B-1.1, B-1.5, B-1.6, B-5.7, B-6.1, B-6.6

9-12 Scavenger Hunt

9-12 Scavenger Hunt Answer Key


Please review the links below before your visit.

School Programs Field Trip Information

Directions to Workshops

School Programs Contract

Teacher Workshops

All K-12 teachers bringing a class to the Aquarium are required to attend a workshop. Teachers who have already attended a three-hour Aquarium workshop for the Structured School Program need not attend another workshop but should list their name and the year they attended the workshop on the application form.

Workshop Dates

October 10, 2015
October 17, 2015
October 31, 2015 (A.M. only)
December 12, 2015
January 9, 2016
February 20, 2016
March 5, 2016

9 a.m.- 12 p.m.: K-2 & 3-5
1-4 p.m.: 5-8 & 9-12

Reservations are required.
For questions, reservations or more information, contact Education at (843) 577-FISH or email

November 21, 2015
February 6, 2016

9 a.m.- 12 p.m.: K-2, 3-5, 5-8 & 9-12

Reservations are required.
For questions, reservations or more information, contact Education at (843) 577-FISH or email

November 14, 2015

9 a.m.- 12 p.m.: K-2, 3-5, 5-8 & 9-12

Reservations are required.
For questions, reservations or more information, contact Education at (843) 577-FISH or email

Apply for a Program

For more information, contact Education at (843) 577-FISH or email

Apply Today

Professional Development

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facilitates two teacher workshops per school year that are hosted by the South Carolina Aquarium. Teachers will learn how to use inquiry- and standards-based lessons to teach compelling reasons for ocean exploration. The two-part series includes a fall and spring workshop. The workshops are geared toward 5th-12th grade teachers who are interested in ocean science. Teachers who attend the FREE workshops receive curriculum materials, lunch and a stipend. Additionally the workshops offer a great networking environment. To learn more about the 2013-2014 workshops, click on the links below.

November 8, 2014

Vol. 1 of the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection: Why do we Explore?

March 14, 2015

Vol. 2 of the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection: How do we Explore?