School Programs

Texas State Aquarium offers a variety of innovative experiences that compliment classroom curriculum, align with grade specific TEKS concepts and process skills, and promote STEM exploration.

School Programs are designed specifically for K-12 students visiting the Aquarium and its local marine environs. Students will be immersed in hands-on STEM activities that promote investigation, critical thinking and creativity.

September through February are great months to visit the Aquarium with your students! We’ve planned DEEP DISCOUNTS to help schools and teachers take advantage of these opportunities during fall and winter. Plan and book your visit today! Please register for programs at least two weeks in advance. For more information or to register, please call (361) 881-1201 or email educationprograms@txstateaq.org.

Request Your Reservation

  • For Teachers/Chaperones

    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, as 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 of $15.50 from September through February and $17.50 from March through August.

    Aquarium etiquette/behavioral guidelines:

    -Have a great day learning, exploring and sharing your experience with friends and classmates.
    -Ensure that all students read and sign the Texas State Aquarium Behavioral Agreement prior to your visit.
    -Stay with assigned chaperones/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 or glass, as it disturbs the animals.
    -Touch only the animals labeled as “touchable” or where you are invited to touch by an Aquarium instructor.
    -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.

    Photo/Video Notification

    In our efforts to promote and improve upon our programming, the Aquarium will occasionally photograph and/or videotape instructor-student 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.

  • All Grade Levels

    Aquarium Self-Guided Visit

    Self-guided visits, facilitated by school or group chaperones, are a fun way to explore the Aquarium’s diverse animals and habitats. Lead your class on an adventure through the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Touch stingrays, sharks, and invertebrates, or enjoy one of the Aquarium’s amazing animal ambassador shows. Teacher Guides are available free online under Aquarium Discovery Programs Self-Guided Resources.

    Fee: $9.50/student (September-February); $11.50/student (March-August)

  • Grades K-2nd

    Aquarium Plus

    Discover a Bigger World with an Aquarium Plus adventure! Enjoy your self-guided Aquarium tour, then explore, discover, and investigate with an affordable add-on program. Aquarium Plus add-ons are designed to facilitate critical thinking and improve STEM process skills while building content knowledge. See below for Aquarium Plus program descriptions and pricing.

    Aquarium Plus Exploration Stations

    Tour the Aquarium on your own, then dive a little deeper with animal and habitat-focused activity stations designed to facilitate grade-appropriate, independent, self-paced exploration using science, math, and engineering process skills. Practice microscope or field sketching techniques, sorting or classification. Track sharks and turtles, construct a robotic tool for undersea investigations, explore with maps, or play a special game of, “I Spy,” from our windows to Corpus Christi Bay and the Aquarium’s Caribbean jungle. Four to six stations will be provided, depending on class size. TEKS:  Kinder, First, and Second Grade Science 1A, B; 2A-E; and 4A-B; as well as TEKS covering organisms, adaptation, and habitats for all grades.

    45-60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $11.50/student (September-February); $14.00/student (March-May) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students

  • Grades 3rd - 5th

    Aquarium Plus

    Discover a Bigger World with an Aquarium Plus adventure! Enjoy your self-guided Aquarium tour, then explore, discover, and investigate with an affordable add-on program. Aquarium Plus add-ons are designed to facilitate critical thinking and improve STEM process skills while building content knowledge. See below for Aquarium Plus program descriptions and pricing.

    Aquarium Plus Exploration Stations

    Tour the Aquarium on your own, then dive a little deeper with animal and habitat-focused activity stations designed to facilitate grade-appropriate, independent, self-paced exploration using science, math, and engineering process skills. Practice microscope or field sketching techniques, sorting or classification. Track sharks and turtles, construct a robotic tool for undersea investigations, explore with maps, or play a special game of, “I Spy,” from our windows to Corpus Christi Bay and the Aquarium’s Caribbean jungle. Four to six stations will be provided, depending on class size. TEKS: Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Science 1A; 2A-F; 3A; and 4A; as well as TEKS covering organisms, adaptations, and habitats for all grades.

    45-60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $11.50/student (September-February); $14.00/student (March-May) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students

    Aquarium Plus Marine Adventures

    Focusing on Gulf of Mexico animals and habitats, students will work independently, and as a team, to investigate animal adaptations such as mouth shape, body shape, coloration, defense, and locomotion. Students will observe, describe, sketch, collect data, and discuss their findings to determine which adaptations are best suited for survival. TEKS: Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Science 1A; 2A-F; 3A; and 4A; as well as TEKS covering organisms, adaptations, and habitats for all grades.

    60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $11.50/student (September-February); $14.00/student (March-May) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students

  • Grades 6-12

    Aquarium Plus

    Discover a Bigger World with an Aquarium Plus adventure! Enjoy your self-guided Aquarium tour, then explore, discover, and investigate with an affordable add-on program. Aquarium Plus add-ons are designed to facilitate critical thinking and improve STEM process skills while building content knowledge.

    Aquarium Plus Discovery

    Armed with observations from their self-guided tour, your students will collaborate with their classmates to design their own investigations, collect and analyze data with a variety of tools and technologies, and discuss what did and didn’t work using the Science Flowchart at understandingscience.org. It’s a one-of-a-kind, indoor, real STEM experience! TEKS: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science 1A; 2A-E; 3A; and 4A; Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Grade Aquatic Science 1A; 2E-J; 3A

    60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $10.50/student (September-February only) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students

    Aquarium Plus STEM in Action Tour

    Explore the Aquarium on your own, then step behind the scenes, meet Aquarium staff, and see STEM in action with an expert guide. From restoring Caribbean coral reefs and reducing plastic pollution, to shark tracking in the Gulf of Mexico and protecting critically endangered species, students will examine how our staff and volunteers preserve and protect wildlife every day. Students will also learn to how to get involved with conservation activities and STEM careers. TEKS: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science 3D; Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Grade Biology 3D, F; and 12F; Aquatic Science 3E; 4C; and 12A-D; Chemistry 3D and 3E

    45 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $10.50/student (September-February); $13.00/student (March-August) | 15 students per tour (multiple tours can be booked for larger groups)

    Aquarium Plus Field Expedition

    Follow us to Sunset Lake for a field expedition like no other. In small teams, your students will collaborate with their classmates to plan and design their own investigations, collect and analyze data with a variety of tools and technologies, and discuss what did and didn’t work using the Science Flowchart at understandingscience.org. TEKS: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science 1A, B; 2E-G; 3A; 8C; 12A; Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Grade Aquatic Science 1A; 2E-J; 3A; 9A-C; 10A-C; 12A-C

    120 minutes (weather dependent) | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $13.00/student (September-February); $16.00/student (March-August) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

    Aquarium Plus Squid Dissection

    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. TEKS: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science 1A; 3A; 4A, B; as well as TEKS covering organisms, adaptations, and habitats for all grades. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Aquatic Science 1A; 2E; 3A, 10B

    60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $13.00/student (September-February); $16.00/student (March-August) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 30 students

    Aquarium plus Caribbean Quest

    Students will use an ethogram and their field sketches to observe animal behavior and adaptations for survival.  After making observations, the students will decide on an adaptation they will observe, describe, compare, and contrast in two-three different animal species that live in the Caribbean Journey, and draw conclusions on how those adaptations help them survive. TEKS: Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Science 1A; 2A-E; 3A; and 4A, B; as well as TEKS covering organisms, adaptations, and habitats for all grades. Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade Aquatic Science 1A; 2E, F, J; and 3A

    60 minutes | Fee: (includes self-guided tour) $10.50/student (September-February only) | Minimum: 10 students – Maximum: 40 students