School Programs

Field Trip Experiences for Middle and High School Students


Our field trip experience offers 6-12th grade students a hands-on activity where students measure Apple Snail juveniles and learn the importance of this species, and a behind-the-scenes tour, giving students a “preview” into the field of Aquaculture.  Field trips are scheduled during normal school hours and can accommodate up to 20 participants. One chaperone is required for every 9 students and count in the participant total. Picnic tables are available for a lunch break. 

Cost: $225 per visit (1 hr tour plus 1.5 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.