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Fun & Learning: School Programs

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Teachers Night Out

  • The Downtown Aquarium wants to thank you for your work as a teacher. Join us after school for a special evening for educators. Learn about fieldtrips, classroom resources, professional development and network with other educators. Appetizers will be provided. Call our Education Department at 303-561-4444 for updated dates and times and to RSVP.

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Bring Your School to the Aquarium

Hook your students with our fun programs at the Downtown Aquarium. We offer two options for schools visiting the Downtown Aquarium. You can choose between a Self-guided Tour or a Classroom Program. Book your school trip today! Registrations with payment are due 2 weeks in advance. Call (303) 561-4444 or email AQDenverEdu@ldry.com for availability.

Self-Guided Tours

  • Self Guided Tour entry times begin at 10am and times are staggered through the day
  • Cost: $6 per student ($9 for college students).We require one adult chaperone for every 5 students; adults in this 1:5 ratio are free, teachers are considered chaperones and count in this ratio. Chaperones must remain with the group at all times. Additional adult tickets can be purchased by the school in advance for the group rate, using the reservation form. If you choose not to pre-purchase extra adult tickets, they can purchase their own on the day of the fieldtrip for the regular admission rate.
  • Reservations with payment needs to be made 2 weeks in advance. Please call 303-561-4444 to inquire about last minute availability if there is less than two weeks to your preferred date.We will do our best to accommodate if there is space available.
  • Reservations and payment MUST be received by us at least 2 weeks in advance of your fieldtrip.

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Classroom Programs

Sit back, relax and leave the teaching to us! Put your students in the hands of our expert Aquarium educators for exciting classroom lessons on conservation, adaptation, food webs, habitats, locomotion and defense. Classroom programs are 40-45 minutes in length and are all correlated with the Colorado Model Content Standards. Classroom programs also include admission to the exhibits for a Self-Guided Tour at no extra fee.

  • Cost: $9 per student ($12 for college students). We require one adult chaperone for every 5 students; adults in this 1:5 ratio are free, teachers are considered chaperones and count in this ratio. Chaperones must remain with the group at all times. Additional adult tickets can be purchased by the school in advance for the group rate, using the reservation form. If you choose not to pre-purchase tickets, they can purchase their own at the box office on that day for the regular admission rate. Additional adults and siblings are not admitted to the classroom programs due to space constraints.
  • Reservations with payment is required 2 weeks in advance. Please call to inquire about last minute availability if there is less than two weeks to your preferred date.We will do our best to accommodate if there is space available.
  • Days: Tuesdays - Fridays; 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am or 12:30pm

One Fish, Two Fish, A-B-C Fish

Grades: Pre K - Kindergarten (Pre K students must be 4 years old)
Explore letters and numbers by naming and counting aquatic creatures from Angelfish to Zebra sharks.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Boneless Bodies

Grades: Pre K - Kindergarten (Pre K students must be 4 years old)
Some animals have no bones! Join us as we observe the jiggling jellies, spiny lobsters and crawly crabs. While playing a fun movement game, students will discover how some of the boneless animals adapt to their water world.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Tide Pool Treasures

Grades: Pre K - 2
Come with us on a treasure hunt to discover some of the amazing critters that live in tide pools. Use poetry, movement, and props to explore the ways these animals survive in their specialized environment.
Maximum number: 30 students per time slot

Coral Communities

Grades: 1-2
A coral reef is a colorful, tropical neighborhood home for many different fish and invertebrates. Discover what it takes to be a coral, and learn why so many creatures live together in one place.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Habitat Highlights

Grades: 1-2
Join us as we hike up the Alpine Tundra, trek through the Rainforests, and then dive into the Deep Sea. Uncover the secret adaptations that animals in each of these habitats have to survive in their special environment. Find out why a pika is like a piggybank, what's bugging the rainforests and how deep-sea fish glow in the dark.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Sensational Sharks

Grades: Pre K - 5
Shark! Learn who the top predator in the ocean really is. Look inside and out as we study the unique adaptations that make sharks so well suited for life at sea. How do you size up compared to some sharks? Find out as we measure a few.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Fabulous Fish

Grades: 3-5
Fish are equipped with amazing adaptations. Using a "Fabulous Fish" costume, students will observe both physical and behavioral adaptations that enable fish to survive.
Maximum number: 60 students per time slot

Wild About Water

Grades: 3-5
Water, water, everywhere! Explore the special properties of water while discovering why all life is dependent on this unique substance. Through a series of STEM experiments, students will discover the different and fascinating characteristics of water and watery environments.
Maximum number: 30 students per time slot

Invertebrate Investigations

Grades: 6-12
Did you know that invertebrates account for 97% of the animal species on earth? Take a closer look at some of these amazing creatures in our hands-on lab, designed to introduce students to the practice and complexity of classification.
Maximum number: 30 students per time slot

Squid: Inside & Out

Grades: 6-12
Join us for an in-depth look at the world's largest, fastest and most specialized invertebrate - the squid! Students will learn about the squid's interesting body parts both inside and out as they dissect one in partner teams.
Maximum number: 50 students per time slot

Aquarium: The Inside Story

Grades: 6-12
Look behind the scenes at the chemistry, biology and technology of keeping thousands of aquatic animals healthy and a million gallons of water inhabitable. Learn about the nitrogen cycle and three types of filtration used in Downtown Aquarium's water cycle!
Maximum number: 30 students per time slot

Note: This program is also available to college students at the cost of $12/student

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Virtual Classes - Distance Learning

Too far away for a fieldtrip? Bring Downtown Aquarium into your classroom via an IP network using Zoom or an H.323 teleconference system. We can broadcast a program to your class anywhere! Call us at 303-561-4444 for topics and availability.

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Outreach Programs

Downtown Aquarium's Education staff hits the road to bring the ocean and other aquatic topics into your school classroom. We'll provide almost everything necessary to give you a peek into the world of water-dependent ecosystems and animals. Call to book your outreach program and check availability at 303-561-4444.

Eligible Schools: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas & Jefferson counties

If your school is outside of these counties, we can work with you to arrange programs if you book 2 or more programs at the same site on the same day, depending on staff availability.
Length: 30-45 minutes depending on program, student age and interaction
Availability: 9:00am – 4:00pm Monday – Friday (based on staff availability)
Grades: Pre K-12 (Pre K students MUST be 4 years old)
Minimum: 10 students; Maximum: varies by program
Travel Fee: $0.50 per mile traveled roundtrip

We offer four Classroom Programs for grades Pre K-5:

  • Boneless Bodies (Pre K-K)
  • Tide Pool Treasures (Pre K-K)
  • Creepy Crawlers (1-5)
  • Sensational Sharks (1-5)

Classroom Program Fee: varies by program, please call (303) 561-4444 for details.

We offer the following Lab Programs for grades 6-12:

  • Squid Inside and Out (6-12)

Lab Program Fee: varies by program, please call (303) 561-4444 for details.

We offer the following assembly program for Grades PreK-12:

  • Animal Olympics Assembly

We offer the following Event table for Grades PreK – 12 or other community events:

  • Aquatic Adventures table
  • Aquarium careers table

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Teacher Workshops

Enhance your curriculum and learn essentials to take back and teach your students! We offer several workshops that will help you take the ocean back to your classroom. All workshop fees include admission to the Aquarium. Call for current rates and availability – 303-561-4444. Two-week pre-registration is required.

Aquariums and Your Classroom

Practice aquarium set-up, learn maintenance tips, and try out a variety of activities that you and your students can do with your classroom aquarium as well as with our million-gallon version. You'll receive an interdisciplinary curriculum guide, go on a Behind-the-Scenes tour, and meet staff to discuss aquarium careers. Bring the ocean to your classroom, and your class to the ocean, in Denver!
Grades: 1-12

Aquatic Project Wild

Use hands-on, easy to use, and fun activities from the Aquatic Project WILD collection to enhance your wildlife and environment-based curriculum. Create awareness, appreciation, understanding, skills, and commitment while you are a student of the workshop, and also practice teaching Aquatic Project WILD activities to your fellow workshop participants.
Grades: K-12

Ocean Literacy

Even though Colorado is not near an ocean, we are tied to it in many ways. Ocean literacy is an understanding of the ocean's influence on you – and your influence on the ocean. Learn the seven essential principals of ocean literacy through interactive lessons and visiting the Aquarium residents.
Grades: 1-12

Project Wet

Use hands-on, fun, water based education activities from the Project WET Curriculum & Activity Guide to help you bring a greater understanding of water and related issues to your students. You will have an opportunity to not only be the student during this workshop, but also practice teaching Project WET activities to fellow workshop participants.
Grades: K-12

Your Home is Your Habitat

From the mountains to the reefs and beaver ponds to mangroves…how much do you and your students know about these ecosystems near and far? Take an in-depth look at a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats while participating in cross-curricular activities that you can take back to your classroom. You will take home a curriculum guide that includes background information on each habitat as well as standards-connected activities to use in you classroom and during future visits to the Downtown Aquarium.
Grades: 1-12

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Loaner Boxes

Are you looking for some new and unusual information to supplement your traditional classroom programming? Try one of our Loaner Boxes!

Each Downtown Aquarium Loaner Box has a wide selection of biofacts, books, posters, videos, music, and other props as well as grade appropriate and state standard-correlated activities ... all designed to help you take a piece of Downtown Aquarium into your classroom. Make your Loaner Box reservation today call 303-561-4444.

  • Currently available Loaner Box topics are Coral Reefs, Fish, and Marine Mammals, all developed for grades K-5; and Ocean for grades 6-12.
  • Cost: $20 each (payable at the time of reservation) and can be reserved for a maximum of 16 days, beginning on a Saturday (pick-up and drop-off at Downtown Aquarium). An additional $50 credit or check deposit is required to reserve your Loaner Box.
  • Your deposit will be held until the Loaner Box is returned. Your deposit will not be processed as long as the box and its contents are returned complete and in good condition.

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Student Projects

We are glad to help students answer questions for a research project. If your class has a project on ocean or aquatic animals, habitats or careers, please have your students compile questions into one email and email us at AQDenverEdu@Ldry.com. Please allow 5 business days for us to research and respond to your students. Due to time constraints of our staff, we are not able to accommodate live or phone interview requests.

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