Learning about the World's Ocean

Many children consider the world’s oceans as so distant and awesome, so vast and deep, that they rarely think about their connections to this vital element of nature.

With more than 70% of our planet covered by water, it is important that future generations of decision makers are informed about this fragile resource. The ocean is fascinating, complex and fragile. In order to protect it, we must understand it.

At The Pier Aquarium, we believe that the more children know about the oceans and come to understand them, the more they will care for them and want to work hard to protect them from pollution or destruction. They are the future stewards of Earth and the ecosystem as we know it.


Information for Teachers

The Pier Aquarium’s educational programs and exhibits are designed to encourage hands-on learning opportunities. Fees ($4 and up) directly benefit the educational programs.

All educational activities and ocean science educational programs are designed and led by our Marine Education Staff to follow Sunshine State Standards and FCAT benchmarks. Programs include:

    • Guided aquarium tours which include live exhibits and interactive exhibits and displays
    • Surf 'N Turf, which includes a guided aquarium tour and marine discovery at the Roy G. Harrell, Jr. Education Station at Spa Beach

Eco Adventures with Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and History Center

Teachers are Free

See the Aquarium at your own pace to prepare for your class study trip. Simply show proof of current I.D. (current pay stub or school I.D.) at the admission counter for a free ticket during regular business hours (10am-8pm) Monday-Friday only.

Family and friends are welcome but will be required to purchase their admissions. Teachers are counted in the chaperone total of study trip days and are free.

Other Programs

We offer on-site classes, school outreach programs such as “Ocean in Motion” and programs that are specifically tailored to you and your students’ needs. Click here for PDFs of lessons plans that can be used before or after a visit to The Pier Aquarium.

Other learning opportunities take place at “FISH-ful Saturday” events on land and at sea.


The Pier Aquarium actively encourages teachers to utilize their community for meaningful learning through ocean exploration. The Pier Aquarium regularly offers teacher workshops in collaboration with the National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) with Pinellas County Schools, Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence Network (COSEE) and the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.