Marine Institute

Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom

Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom Banner

The Explorers Aquarium in the Classroom provides children with an amazing opportunity to learn about native seashore species in the classroom. An aquarium and specially selected animals are organised by the outreach officer – bringing the seashore to the classroom for a set duration.

Explorers Aquarium in Class. Photographer Jason Clarke photography.


The Explorers saltwater aquarium in class module provides teachers with an opportunity to bring the seashore to the classroom and teach their students about marine living things. A range of cross curricular activities can also be carried using the aquarium as a tool for teaching science, geography, maths, English, Irish, art and more.


Teachers will be provided with equipment and stock to run a saltwater aquarium with native species from the seashore for up to four weeks in their classroom with support provided by an Explorers Education officer. This module is suitable for 5th and 6th class. The teachers will be provided with class schemes, resources for the class, as well as recommended education resources and lesson plans to carry out cross curricular work based on the project that has been selected.

The outreach officer will carry out two half-day visits (approx. 2 hours per visit) to the class by an Explorers Education Officer or a number of shorter interactive online virtual discussions with the class. 

  • The first visit will involve a fun introduction to ocean literacy, a presentation about marine living things as well as instructions on caring for the animals in the aquarium.  
  • The final visit will involve the class providing a presentation and discussion of their project work that relates to the aquarium in the class. 

 The Explorers Aquarium in the Class will involve fun activities assessing the student’s ocean literacy in which they will be awarded an Explorers Certificate of Participation on completion of the module.

2020 - 2021: Where there maybe restrictions or limited access into schools, the Explorers Education Programme team are happy to discuss an alternative blended learning experience with virtual class visits to facilitate the Explorers Aquarium in the Class module. 

Teachers participating in this module must attend an introduction face-to-face or online workshop prior to the delivery of the aquarium and animals to the class. The teacher will receive training with the outreach officer on how to manage the aquarium and animals. They will also be given support materials and an outline of cross curricular content that can be used as part of the project.

For further information on how to book your class for this module please CONTACT THE OUTREACH CENTRE in your location.

The Explorers Education Programme is supported by the Marine Institute, and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.