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.
Apply for a Program
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Check back for details for the 2020-21 school year.
For more information or questions, contact Education at (843) 577-FISH or email Education@scaquarium.org
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. Please review the links below before your visit:
Grades K- 2 Habitats
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.
K.S.1A.1, K.S.1A.8, K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.2, K.L.2A.3, K.L.2A.5, K.L.2A.6
1.S.1A.1, 1.S.1A.8, 1.E.4A.2, 1.E.4B.2, 1.L.5B.1, 1.L.58.2
2.S.1A.1, 2.S.1A.8, 2.L.5B.1, 2.L.5B.2
Grades 3-5 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.
3.S.1A.6, 3.S.1A.8, 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5A.2, 3.L.5B.1
4.S.1A.6, 4.S.1A.8,4.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.3
5.S.1A.6, 5.S.1A.8, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3
Grades 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.
5.S.1A.1, 5.S.1A.2, 5.S.1A.3, 5.S.1A.4, 5.S.1A.5, 5.S.1A.6, 5.S.1A.7, 5.S.1A.8, 5.S.1B.1, 5.E.3A.1, 5.E.3B.3
6.S.1A.1, 6.S.1A.2, 6.S.1A.3, 6.S.1A.4, 6.S.1A.5, 6.S.1A.6, 6.S.1A.7, 6.S.1A.8, 6.S.1B.1, 6.E.2A.3
7.S.1A.1, 7.S.1A.2, 7.S.1A.3, 7.S.1A.4, 7.S.1A.5, 7.S.1A.6, 7.S.1A.7, 7.S.1A.8, 7.S.1B.1, 7.EC.5A.3, 7.EC.5B.1, 7.EC.5B.3, 7.P.2B.3
Grades 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.
6.S.1A.8, 6.L.4A.2, 6.L.4B.1, 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.3,
7.S.1A.8, 7.L.3B.1, 7.L.3B.2
Grades 6-12 Earth History
Students will uncover the mystery of a marine fossil graveyard. They will complete fossil ID, rock layers and site testing stations to figure out what, when and why the organisms died.
6.S.1A.1, 6.S.1A.2, 6.S.1A.3, 6.S.1A.4, 6.S.1A.5, 6.S.1A.6, 6.S.1A.7, 6.S.1A.8, 6.S.1B.1, 6.E.5A.1, 6.L.4A.1
8.S.1A.1, 8.S.1A.2, 8.S.1A.3, 8.S.1A.4, 8.S.1A.5, 8.S.1A.6, 8.S.1A.7, 8.S.1A.8, 8.S.1B.1, 8.E.5A.1, 8.E.5A.2, 8.E.5A.5, 8.3.5B.3, 8.E.6A.1, 8.E.6A.2, 8.E.6A.3, 8.3.6A.4, 8.E.6B.2
H.E.3A.5, H.E.3A.6, H.E.3B.3, H.E.4A.3, H.E.4A.4, H.E.4A.5, H.E.6A.5
H.B.4B.2, H.B.6A.1, H.B.6C.1, H.B.6D.1
High School 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.
H.B.1A.1, H.B.1A.2, H.B.1A.3, H.B.1A.4, H.B.1A.5, H.B.1A.6, H.B.1A.7, H.B.1A.8, H.B.1B.1, H.B.6D.1
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. Reservations are required. For questions, reservations or more information, contact Jaime Thom at (843) 579-8562 or email email@example.com.
South Carolina Certified Teacher Discounts
South Carolina certified K-12 teachers receive free admission and $25 off any level of regular membership.
To receive these discounts, just show your photo ID and one of the following: your current South Carolina K-12 teacher ID, a paystub issued within the last 90 days, or your South Carolina teaching certificate.
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 workshops are geared toward 6th-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 2019 workshops, click on the links below.