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On-Site Programs
(Supplemental program fees apply except where indicated)

All programs are between 30-45 minutes in length.


New Program (Recommended for grades K-12):
Primary (Recommended for grades K-2):
Intermediate (Recommended for grades 3-5):
Middle School (Recommended for grades 6-8):
Secondary (Recommended for grades 9-12):
Old Favorites
Riverhead Foundation Programs
Special Programs


New Program (Recommended for grades K-12):

Penguin Meet + Greet
(Recommended for grades K-12; 15 min)
Students will get up close and personal with an African penguin in a closed classroom and one of our penguin experts! Learn how our staff cares for these incredible birds during this 15 minute brand-new program!

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Primary (Recommended for grades K-2):

Turtle Time
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.2, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be able to observe requirements for turtles and tortoises to live and thrive as well as, learn humane treatment of all animals even the ones that are not so cuddly. They will be able to classify animals based on color, shape, texture, weight, etc.

Life Cycles
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.4,5.6,6 & 7
Students will learn that plants and animals have stages of development and that these stages take varied lengths of time depending on the animal. What do you call a baby seahorse? Students find out and discover that the father seahorse, not the mother, has the babies in this unique animal’s life cycle! Students use rhymes and illustrations to learn about the six stages of a seahorse life cycle.

Fish Senses
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.6,6 & 7
Students will examine aquatic animal anatomy and environment to gain an understanding of how those animals use their senses to survive. Did you know sharks have more than five senses? Hands-on activities will allow students to use their senses to mimic their fishy friends.

Frogs and Toads
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.2, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be able to describe and identify the differences between frogs and toads, where they live, distinctive characteristics, and more. Various activities will lead to discovery learning and firsthand observation of the world of frogs and toads. Have your group get up close and personal as we look at live frogs and toads.

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Intermediate (Recommended for grades 3-5):

Butterflies
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.2, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be able to identify and describe the stages of development of butterflies, determine the parameters to classify a butterfly as an insect. Activities will lead students to uncover the importance of butterflies and the humane treatment of them.

Buoyancy
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be able to explain why some objects float and others sink. Utilizing their background knowledge of buoyancy, students will discover how fish, sea mammals and even scuba divers regulate their buoyancy. Hands on activities will help students synthesize this new information.

Amazon Biodiversity
Students will be able to investigate the ecological importance of the Amazon Basin ecosystem. Topics include conservation, seasonal variations and biodiversity. The program concludes with a visit to the Aquarium’s Amazon Rainforest exhibit in order to reinforce topics discussed in the classroom.

Shark Senses
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.6,6 & 7
Students will be able to comprehend how sharks use their senses in order to find prey. Hands on activities will allow students to use their senses, just as a shark would!

Birds
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students observe birds to learn about their physical and behavioral properties. Ospreys, parrots, and penguins all have similarities and differences; together we will explore them through firsthand observations and discover the wonders of birds. Students will see live birds and learn the different adaptations they have. A study of bird environments and how pollution affects birds will also take place.

Survival of the Fittest
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.6,6 & 7
Students will discover that: animals adapt in diverse environments, animals need water, food, shelter, and air to survive. Students will determine what favorable traits for survival are. Students will understand what it takes to survive in the wild.

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Middle School (Recommended for grades 6-8):

Environmental Factors
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.2, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be able to identify abiotic and biotic environmental factors and their impact on marine and land animals. Students will participate in activities leading them to discover needs and troubleshoot pitfalls of various ecosystems. The group will also tour the Aquarium to examine the represented ecosystems in our exhibits.

Ponds and Wetlands
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be led to discover characteristics of and animals that live in ponds or standing water. Students will also learn about the characteristics, diversity, functions and benefits of local wetlands such as habitat and nursery areas.

Long Island Focus
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will be led to discover the geologic beginnings of Long Island. Activities will push students to realize the rich history and variety of animal adaptations that grace our local shores and waters. Also available as an Outreach Program.

Dissection Lab
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.4,5.6,6 & 7
Students will use specimen observation and dissection skills to learn basic vertebrate anatomy and gain a better understanding of bony fish – the most numerous group of vertebrates. All necessary tools are provided for groups of four students to dissect a preserved perch and investigate the diversity and adaptations of the fish. Limit 32 students per session. Additional lab fees required.

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Secondary (Recommended for grades 9-12):

Coral Reef Ecology
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.2, 5.4, 6 & 7
Students will examine various coral species and vibrant reef fish up-close.  Concepts involving biodiversity, specialization, symbiotic relationships and environmental conservation/preservation will be discussed.  Students will also view our magnificent all-living Coral Reef display!

Shark Ecology
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Sharks have survived for over 400 million years! Students will explore various concepts of their living environment through observation and discussion of shark senses and adaptations. Students will investigate how sharks survive and make a living in specific marine environments. The concepts explored will enable students to transfer their knowledge to other living organisms and environments.

Animal Adaptations
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 5.4, 6 & 7
Adaptation is a vital survival skill in a changing world. Animals must adapt to their environment for countless reasons ranging from food acquisition to comfort. Students will explore firsthand the evidence left behind from centuries of adaptations.

Dissection Lab
NYS Standards MST 1,4,5.2,5.4,5.6,6 & 7
Students will use specimen observation and dissection skills to learn basic vertebrate anatomy and gain a better understanding of bony fish – the most numerous group of vertebrates. All necessary tools are provided for groups of four students to dissect a preserved perch and investigate the diversity and adaptations of the fish. Limit 32 students per session. Additional lab fees required.

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Old Favorites:

Behind the Scenes
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 6 & 7
Find out what goes on behind the scenes at Long Island Aquarium.  Learn how we manage this enclosed ocean, feeding thousands of animals, constantly monitoring water quality, and maintaining our 120,000 gallon shark exhibit. (5th grade and up)

Guided Tours
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 6 & 7
Join us as we explore some of the more popular exhibits Long Island Aquarium has to offer.

Seashores
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 6 & 7
The animals living along our shores come in many different colors and shapes, and this program gives students the chance to meet some of these diverse characters. Students will learn about the varied coastal environments surrounding Long Island, as well as the animals that have adapted to those specific habitats. Also available as an Outreach Program.

Preferable Pets
NYS Standards MST 1, 4, 6 & 7
The exotic pet trade has flourished in recent years... however not every animal on sale will make a good pet. Learn the differences between "good pets" and "bad pets" and meet some of the more manageable pets that appear on our Critter Cart. Also available as an Outreach Program.

*If you have an old favorite or program that you do not see listed, please inquire with our Reservations Team Member.

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Riverhead Foundation Programs:

Classroom Based Programs

Adoption Program Lecture
(K – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
Here’s a great idea: Have your class adopt a rehabilitated seal, whale, dolphin, porpoise, or sea turtle and you’ll receive a personalized lecture about our Rescue Program and your adopted animal from a Foundation Biologist.

Seals of Long Island
(K – College; 45 minutes)
Learn about the seals that inhabit our shores using artifacts such as seal fur and bones, as well as audiovisual materials.

Sea Turtles of Long Island
(K – College; 45 minutes)
Take a closer look at the basic biology and conservation of these endangered and threatened animals, which spend their summers in New York’s waters.

Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
(K – College; 45 minutes)
Are there really whales, dolphins and porpoises in New York waters? In addition, what is the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? This program provides the answers to these and other questions while exploring the mysteries of these enchanting marine mammals.

Cetaceans, Seals and Sea Turtles of New York
(K – College; 45 minutes)
This presentation focuses on various species of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea turtles, with emphasis on species encountered in New York waters.

Pollution in our Environment (lecture and/or hands-on experiment)
(K – College; 45 minutes, if hands on max of 20 students)
This presentation addresses the sources on marine pollution and how they can be prevented using video tools (lecture) and/or hands-on activity (experimental program).

Food Chain and Food Web
(K – College; 60 minutes)
This interactive program introduces students to the elements of food chains and food webs, with a focus on marine ecosystems.

Endangered Species
(4th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
Engage in a discussion covering many topics related to local endangered species, including identification, human impact, and preservation. Students also have the opportunity to examine artifacts such as baleen, bones, turtle shells, and seal skulls.

Water Cycle and Salt and Fresh Water on Earth
(K – College; 45 minutes)
These two distinct hands-on programs focus on the water cycle and the distribution of salt and fresh water on Earth, respectively.  Emphasis is given to hands-on activities and experiences.

Marine Habitats
(K – College; 45 minutes)
This program focuses on various marine habitats and the adaptations of marine organisms to these habitats.  Available as a lecture or hands-on workshop.

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Special Programs:

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Center Tour
(all ages; 30 min)
Learn about the local marine mammals and sea turtles that inhabit our waters.  Artifacts and animals (depending on circumstances) will be on display in the Riverhead Foundation Rescue Center.  Learn what the Riverhead Foundation is doing to protect these threatened and endangered animals.  Maximum of 20 people per tour.

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Husbandry/Hospital Tour
(5th – Adult; 45 minutes)
Explore the daily activities at the Riverhead Foundation hospital as they operate New York’s only marine mammal and sea turtle rescue hospital.  Maximum of 20 people per tour.

Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Anatomy & Physiology Class
(7th – College; 120 minutes)
Join a marine biologist on a forensic journey as they perform a post-mortem examination of a marine mammal or sea turtle.  Topics include the functional morphology of marine mammals and sea turtles and their evolutionary biology.  Students are encouraged to assist in a hands-on learning environment.  Maximum of 20 people per class.

In the Field with the Riverhead Foundation
Please call the Riverhead Foundation directly to book any of the following programs:
• Bay Investigations
• Seal Cruises/Walks
• Ecology/Beach Walks
• Beach Cleanups
• Mock Stranding