School Programs

Field Trip Experiences for Middle and High School Students


Our field trip experiences offer 6 - 12th grade students hands-on activities and a behind-the-scenes tour, giving students a "preview" into the field of Aquaculture. Field trips are scheduled during normal school hours. Picnic tables are available for lunch break. Each field trip is limited to 30 students and one adult chaperone is required for every 10 students.

Aquaculture Field Trip Activity Menu:

  • Digging It - Students learn how to volumetrically count clam seed to estimate production inventory.
  • Something Fishy - Students catch, measure and weigh fish to calculate feeding efficiency.
  • Splish Splash - Students use water test kits to learn how water quality parameters affect the health and growth of farmed animals.
  • Royal Queen - Students measure Queen conch juveniles and learn the importance of this fisheries species.
  • Plankton Races – Students learn about plankton and design their own to race against the class.

$225 per visit (1 hr tour plus 1 hr activity)


Aquaculture in the Classroom

Why Teach Aquaculture?

Aquaculture is a highly competitive and the fastest growing segment of agriculture in the United States. Florida’s aquaculture industry is diverse, producing an array of food fish, shellfish, alligators, baitfish, aquatic plants, and ornamentals. To support the continued growth of the industry and encourage public support for aquaculture, there is a significant need to integrate aquaculture curriculum and activities into elementary, secondary, and post-secondary science education programs. Research shows that educational experiences are enhanced when aquaculture is incorporated into the science curriculum. The hands-on, real-life nature of aquaculture encourages student enthusiasm and willingness to participate in classroom activities. There is currently a limited patchwork of aquaculture curriculum resources for K-12 and post-secondary institutions available in the United States. Additionally, most of the materials currently available are not closely correlated or consistent with the National Science Standards or Florida’s Sunshine State Standards. The incorporation of aquaculture in education programs can prepare students for employment in the aquaculture industry or aquaculture activities can simply be used as a multidisciplinary teaching tool that actively engages students in hands-on learning experiences.

About the Curriculum

Harbor Branch and University of Florida scientists and educators have developed an aquaculture curriculum for middle and high school level classes. This curriculum is available through the University of Florida’s IFAS website. The seven aquaculture education modules are:

  • General Biology of Aquaculture Species
  • Design and Operation of Growout Production Facilities
  • Broodstock Breeding and Hatchery
  • Water Quality
  • Nutrition
  • Harvesting, Processing, and Packaging
  • Cultivation of Aquatic Plants and Seaweed

Key components of the modules include lesson plans, pre- and post- assessment tools, equipment usage guidelines, and material supply lists. The lesson plans incorporate all aspects of instruction from experimentation to concept development to formal assessment, build upon individual learning styles, and encourage students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills while participating in individual and collaborative group projects. All components are easily adaptable for use in any middle school, high school, community college, or vocational training program.

Contact Dr. Paul Wills for additional questions and scheduling.