Oceans to Go!

The Education Program staff at the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is pleased to offer “hands-on” marine science programs at your school or center. The following programs are designed to support NJ’s content standards and stimulate your students emerging science skills and natural curiosity about our watery world.

Sand Lab:

Students will learn where sand comes from, what it is made from and how it gets to the Jersey Shore. A laboratory will be set up at your location so that your group can use microscopes and hand lenses to investigate sand samples from near and far. “Make and take” activities include sand wheels, sand art and sand cards.

What Lives in a Shell?

During this program students will become acquainted with the lives of some common New Jersey shelled creatures including clams, snails, hermit crabs and turtles. Activities include a story, observation of live specimens and related crafts.

Incredible Crustaceans:

This program focuses on crabs, lobsters and shrimp. During a live animal presentation, students will discover the life of crustaceans native to New Jersey. Groups will assemble a model plus learn the common characteristics of these fascinating clawed creatures.

Lenape and the Jersey Shore:

During this program students will learn about our area’s Native Americans and how they utilized the coastal environment to survive. Students will learn about the foods the Lenape ate, how they hunted, fished and more. A craft may also be included.

Horseshoe Crab Investigation:

Students will learn all about this amazing native of the Jersey Shore. Each student will assemble a model to take home, view a horseshoe crab shell, learn anatomy and meet a live horseshoe crab.

Fish Anatomy and Morphology:

Fish shape, from body style to fin and tail variation, makes a big difference in how each fish moves and survives. Your group will investigate fish shape through Gyotaku fish printing and direct observation of real and model fish. Students will also build a paper fish and listen to a story about fish.

CSI – Clam Shell Investigations:

Students will become seashore detectives as they investigate the creepy habits of the moon snail. Using microscopes and magnifying lenses, students will solve the mystery of the holey clamshell. Groups will classify clamshell samples and create charts and graphs to support their hypothesis of how clamshells become “holey.” A seashell craft is included.

Terrific Terrapins:

During this program students will observe live salt and fresh water turtles, learn about their needs, the habitats they live in and how they survive. Students will also learn what it means to be an ”endangered species” and what we all can do to help protect these animals. Program includes a story, a “mini” lab exercise and several turtle crafts.

Stars of the Sea:

This program focuses on some of the ocean’s more intriguing creatures, seastars and urchins. Students will observe live and preserved specimens and learn about their needs, the habitats they live in and how to survive. This program includes a story, a seastar craft, an edible urchin activity and use of microscopes to get a closer look at these animals.

More Programs for Grades 5 and up:

Ancient Oceans, Living Fossils:

Students discover the geology and geography of the NJ Shore as they examine a time capsule of fossil sea life from the Cretaceous Period. During a lively interactive presentation and hands-on discovery session, students will examine real NJ fossils, learn how paleontologists excavate study sites, create a fossil of their own and touch a “living fossil.”

Estuaries and Oil Spills:

Discover first hand how productive estuaries are and why we need them. Oil is one of the world’s main sources of energy and we are dependant on it. Through lively experiments students experience the threat of an oil spill and it affects on coasts and estuaries. Students use problem-solving skills to decide what strategies they would use if they were actually cleaning up an oil spill.

Ocean in Motion:

Surfs Up! Discover the powerful force of the ocean with an observation of a wave tank and a lively interactive presentation. Students will discover the common characteristics of waves and how they shape our shoreline. During several hands-on activities students will learn how currents are created and how they travel around the world. Students will also create an “Ocean in Bottle” model to take home.

Web of Life:

An intricate system of feeding relationships exists within New Jersey’s marine ecosystem. During the group activity, students will be introduced to the sea creatures that call New Jersey’s ocean their home and assemble a native species food web. Following that students will complete several food web activities including a “make and take” marine food chain.

Ports, Harbors and Estuaries:

Discover New Jersey’s estuarine environments and the exciting world of ocean transportation and shipping. Topic also includes NJ’s estuaries and their multi-faceted roles as centers of commerce, recreation and as providers of habitat for many plant and animals. Included are mapping activities, live animal presentations and water quality experiments.

Please Note

Unless specified, most programs can be made appropriate for grades K-8. Programs with “make-and-take” craft projects include all supplies brought in by the NJSGC at no additional cost to you. Many programs include live marine animals or you may request them. If you have an idea for a marine science program that is not listed, please make a suggestion.


  • After-school and evening sessions typically run 1 1/2 hours in length.
    • Fee: $375.00 per session per program. For up to 50 participants
  • In-school sessions cover up to four classes for 45 minute sessions (up to 25 students each, same program)
    • Fee: $675.00 per visit. Additional classes or split program, add $120.00
  • Sessions are available from November through March and during July and August.

For schools more than 30 miles from NJSGC, a small transportation fee will be charged.

For a pdf version of our complete list of Ocean To Go! topics or if you want to schedule your visit, call or email: Rosemary Higgins at (732) 872-1300, ext. 19.