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 period of time.

Aquarium in the Class Activities

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 out using the aquarium as a tool for teaching science, geography, maths, English, Irish, art and more.

This is an excellent module for children to develop a strong connection with the animals that can be found on their local seashore.  This further encourages children’s engagement and sense of exploration learning about the seashore environment; as well as the larger ocean.

The Explorers Aquarium in the Class module may be used to support teaching children about the SDG14 Life Below Water (marine biodiversity).

The Module Logistics

Explorers Aquarium in Class. Photographer Jason Clarke photography.

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.  
  • As part of the Aquarium in the Class module, the children and teacher will complete a project in class about the animals in the aquarium, before the outreach officer’s final class visit.
  • 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 involves fun educational activities developing the student’s ocean literacy. Each student will be awarded an Explorers Certificate of Participation on completion of the module.

The Explorers modules require a minimum of 25 students participating in the Aquarium in the Class module.  If classes are smaller, please contact your nearest outreach officer to discuss options.

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 session with the outreach officer, 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.

Centres available to facilitate an aquarium in the class module are based in Galway, Kerry and Waterford. For further information on how to book your class for this module please CONTACT THE OUTREACH CENTRE in your location.

Aquarium in the Class Questions and Answers.jpg

The following information may be used to set up your own tank in class. Remember that setting up an aquarium in the classroom should be done on a temporary basis and we recommend that you work with one of the Explorers team members to ensure the tank and the animals are properly looked after. We have also included a questions and answers sheet for common problems that might occur.

Illustration of Setting up a Fish Tank.

Setting Up A Fish Tank

Guide to setting up a Fish Tank (PDF 658KB) provides a step by step guide to set up an aquarium in the classroom.



Illustration of Fish Tank Problem Solving and Trouble Shooting.

Fish Tank Problem Solving and Trouble Shooting

Fish Tank Problem Solving and Trouble Shooting (PDF 190KB) provides 'questions and answers’ to assist you with common problems that may occur with fish tanks.



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