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Education Programs

Camouflage
(1st – 3rd grade; 45 minutes)
Visit with critters of Long Island Aquarium and learn how camouflage aids in species survival. (Free program Sept. - March)

Ecosystems
(3rd – 7th grade; 45 minutes)
This program focuses on abiotic and biotic factors and how they interact.  Explore the different ecosystems represented at Long Island Aquarium, including our Coral Reef and Tidal Marsh exhibits. (Free program Sept- March).

Animal Adaptations
(4th – 8th grade; 45 minutes)
After a brief discussion to explain natural selection, using England’s peppered moth as an example, an Educator will guide your students to several exhibits to learn about and observe firsthand how different animals have evolved particular adaptations to best exploit their habitats.  Focus is on penguins, primates, sea turtles and sharks.

Guided Aquarium Tours
(All ages; 30 minutes)
Join us as we explore all that Long Island Aquarium has to offer.

Dig It: Adventures in Archaeology
(4th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
Discover the science of archaeology during this hands-on interactive program. Students will be introduced to archaeological methods and techniques as they partipate in an excavation simulation. Teams of budding archaeologists will analyze artifacts to learn about past civilizations and cultures, and chart their findings. Also available as an Outreach Program.

Loveable Limulus
(4th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
Although horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) may have a face only a mother could love, to know them is to love them. This program will dispel all the myths about horseshoe crabs as dangerous creatures ready to strike out with their venomous tails. Horseshoe "crabs" are completely harmless, and have been for hundreds of millions of years. Once acquainted, these fascinating marine invertebrates will astound your students. Also available as an Outreach Program.

Animal Behaviors
(4th – 12th Grade; 30 minutes)
Students learn how conditioning techniques are used to prepare marine mammals for public performances.  Using these same positive reinforcement techniques, students will then “train” one of their classmates with clickers and whistles!  Also available as an Outreach Program.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour
(5th – 12th grade; 30-40 minutes)
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. 

Wonderful Wetlands
(1st – 8th; 45 minutes)
Students will learn about the characteristics, diversity, functions, and benefits of local wetlands such as habitat and nursery areas.  The importance of wetland preservation is also discussed.  (Program can take place in our Interactive Salt Marsh when weather permits).

Coral Reef Ecology
(5th – 12th Grade- scaled appropriately to age/grade level;  45 minutes)
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!

Plight of the Parrots
(All ages; 45 minutes)
Focusing on the plight of domesticated and critically endangered bird species, this program utilizes live bird demonstrations to give students the opportunity to learn firsthand the importance of education and healthy environmental conditions for species survival.  Presented by the Priceless Parrot Preserve, New York’s only 501 (c) (3) preserve dedicated to the rescue and permanent care of exotic birds.

Long Island Focus
(7th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
Students explore Long Island’s glacial beginnings, as well as more recent changes to its shoreline and barrier islands.  The program also examines Long Island’s aquifer system, its importance to our daily life, and the steps that can be taken to protect this vital resource.

Prefferable Pets
(All ages; 30 minutes)
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.

The Seashore/Touch Tank
(Pre-K – 12th Grade [scaled appropriately to age/grade level]; 45 minutes)
These creatures 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. 5th to 12th grade students will learn about the diverse coastal environments surrounding Long Island, as well as the animals that have adapted to those specific habitats.

Shark Senses
(3rd – 7th Grade; 30 – 45 minutes)
Enter the world of a shark, nature's most feared predator. Learn how sharks utilize their senses to find prey through hands-on activities. (Also available as an Outreach Program.)

Shark Ecology
(7th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)
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 enviroments. The concepts explored will enable students to transfer their knowledge to other living organisms and environments. Free with a visit to Long Island Aquarium from November through March; regular fee applied all other times.


Riverhead Foundation Programs

Adoption Program Lecture
(K – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)

Here’s a great idea: Have your class adopt a rehabilitated seal, whale, dolphin, or sea turtle and you’ll receive a personalized lecture about 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 threatened animals, which spend their summers in Long Island’s waters.

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises
(K – College; 45 minutes)

Are there really whales, dolphins, and porpoises in New York waters? And 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.

Marine Pollution
(2nd – 4th Grade; 45 minutes)

Students have the opportunity to analyze various types and sources of marine pollution and take a firsthand look at humans’ impact on the ocean.

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.

Rescue Center Behind-the-Scenes Tour
(4th – 12th Grade; 45 minutes)

Go behind-the-scenes and explore the Foundation and its daily activities, from rescue to rehabilitation to release. Tour limited to 20 participants. Supplemental Foundation fee applies.

Marine Anatomy and Physiology
(11th – College; 120 minutes)

Assist a Marine Biologist in a post-mortem examination of a seal, cetacean, or sea turtle and explore some of the potential causes of injury and death to these animals. Supplemental Foundation fee applies.

In the Field with the Foundation
Please call the Foundation directly to book any of the following programs:

  • Bay Investigations;
  • Seal Cruises/Walks;
  • Ecology/Beach Walks;
  • Beach Cleanups;
  • Mock Stranding.