Virtual School Programs

These programs offer interactive remote learning for K-12 students.

For more info

To schedule virtual school programming, contact Stephanie Edgecombe at or call 912-598-2335.

The UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium is now offering online, interactive marine science education programs for K-12 students! Programs run 45 minutes and are available for up to 25 participants. Scheduling options include weekdays, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Online registration and a $50 per program fee will be required in advance.


Grades K-12

Aquarium Exploration (Grades K-12)

Interested in the animals that live in estuaries and oceans? Join us for a virtual tour of our aquarium that showcases natives species of invertebrates, fish and other aquatic vertebrates. Students will observe form and function while discussing the diversity and ecological significance of fishes and invertebrates found in Georgia’s coastal waters. Discussions also include the role of aquariums with regard to conservation, research and education efforts related to the exhibits.

Touch Tank

Students observe and handle live invertebrates, typically including whelks, sea stars, spider crabs, hermit crabs, and horseshoe crabs. Learn the classification and natural history of common coastal marine invertebrates through small group discussions and touch tank discovery.

Grades 3-4


CrabEcology focuses on Georgia’s coastal habitats from the perspective of living crabs found there.  This interactive session includes observations of live crabs, discussions of crab life cycles, anatomy and diversity, and investigations of salt marsh and sandy beach sediments.

Grades 5-12

Aquarium Behind the Scenes

Extend a scheduled Aquarium Exploration with an informative tour of the aquarium work spaces and a discussion of the methods used for caring for animals on exhibit. Students get close-up views of holding tanks, filter systems, and food preparation areas. Discussions also include the role of aquariums with regard to conservation, research and education efforts related to the exhibits.

Bottlenose Dolphin Study

Join us for a virtual field experience aboard one of our 24 foot, Carolina skiffs. This program combines pre-recorded presentations, video and audio on bottlenose dolphin habitat and behaviors from spy hopping to tail slapping. Virtual interactions will showcase local research and conservation efforts and the natural history of these marine mammals including a live demonstration so students can listen to underwater sounds using a hydrophone.

Coastal Reptiles

Over 80 species of reptiles inhabit Georgia’s diverse habitats. Learn about the characteristics of this ancient group of vertebrates which have allowed them to survive for hundreds of millions of years. Marine educators will share several coastal reptile species, their natural history, and the efforts to conserve endangered reptile species. Using live animals and preserved specimens, students will participate in an interactive meet and greet via distance learning. Pre and post activities will allow for a deeper understanding.

Estuary Trawl

Join us for a virtual trawling experience aboard our 43-foot trawler, R/V Sea Dawg. This program combines pre-recorded presentations on trawling with live virtual program components so that students can learn about benthic communities found in tidal rivers and sounds. Virtual, live interactions will showcase water quality investigations and the natural history, diversity of species and ecological significance of organisms collected in a trawl. This class emphasizes STEM objectives.

Fish Dissection Lab

Combine this session with Introduction to Fishes and Fish Identification to investigate the external anatomy, internal organs and reproductive systems of bony fishes. Students compare features of a fish’s lifestyle to those of humans and other organisms in order to learn how fish are specifically adapted for life in the water.

Fish Identification Lab

Using dichotomous keys, students identify fishes based on external features. If time allows, shark identification is included as well as discussion of the diversity and responsible management of coastal fishes.

Invertebrate Lab

Discover the invertebrate community found living beneath the water line on floating docks. Join a marine educator while observing and identifying species in this community and discuss the biotic and abiotic factors that determine the diversity of organisms collected there. Students interact through discussion, live microscopic exploration and polling via distance learning. Pre and post activities will allow for a deeper understanding.

Marine Debris 101

This class introduces and explores the topic of marine debris, particularly plastic debris, and its ecological and economic impacts on the ocean and coastal zone. Students learn about the sources of marine debris and the ocean processes (such as tides and currents) that influence the type, amount and frequency of plastic debris accumulating along Georgia’s coast. Virtual demonstrations and question/answer sessions including a mini marine debris survey will provide insight on the various types of marine debris encountered in local coastal environments.

Maritime Forest Study

Take a virtual hike through transitional and mature maritime forests to experience coastal Georgia’s climax plant community. Join a marine educator to examine the diverse plants and animals found in this habitat through close observation and nature study. Using live animals, objects found on the trail and interactive polls students participate in a maritime forest exploration via distance learning. Pre and post activities will allow for a deeper understanding.

Microplastic Investigations in the Environment

This virtual class introduces and explores the topic of microplastics in aquatic systems, its sources and its ecological impacts on the ocean and coastal zone. Discussions include types and quantity of microplastics encountered and physical factors that may influence distribution (winds, currents, tides, proximity to development). Students have an opportunity to analyze and compare images of filtered water samples from different locations and document the presence or absence of microplastics.

Plankton Lab

What organisms live in a single drop of salty water? Students learn how marine animals and plants are part of the planktonic community. Discussions also include how environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, and tidal stage relate to plankton abundance and may lead to phytoplankton blooms and how citizen scientists monitor for potentially hazardous algal blooms (HABs). Students join a marine educator to survey a plankton sample using standard microscope techniques via distance learning. Interactive questions and activities will allow for student participation. Pre and post activities will allow for a deeper understanding.

Salt Marsh Study

Students put their knowledge to practical use in this field study in order to gain a broad perspective of salt marsh zonation and ecology. Using scientific equipment, students survey, collect, graph, and analyze data on changes in elevation in the salt marsh, soil types, and the organisms living there.

Squid Dissection

Investigate squid form and function through dissection and interactive discussion of the internal anatomy of this complex mollusk. Students will follow along as a marine educator walks them through a live dissection and live animal observation via distance learning. Interactive questions and activities will allow for student participation. Pre and post activities will allow for a deeper understanding.

Stay connected to the coast. Subscribe to our newsletter today!