Aquarium staff and teen interns bring free, hands-on presentations and activities into the community. 

Programs are built on science concepts and presented in a fun, interactive way to create local connections and build science skills. Educators encourage local children to observe, touch, and learn about marine life and ocean ecosystems.

 

Explore our STEM Workshops

 

Summer Youth-Focused Workshops

Bring STEM to life with live animals!
kids touching animals in tidepool

Aquarium educators and teen interns will travel to your site in July or August with live tidepool animals, crafts, and activities for youth ages 5 to 12 years old. Our youth-focused workshop encourages the use of science skills such as observations and predictions, while also highlighting the local coastal habitats and animals of Boston. This workshop is only available to youth ages 5 – 12 years old. To make the most of this STEM workshop, encourage youth to come prepared to ask a lot of questions. Read our FAQs to check eligibility. 

  1. Summer Youth-Focused Workshops FAQs

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Your organization must be a non-profit, Out-of-School time community-serving organization
    • Physically located and serve a neighborhood(s) of Boston, or Cambridge
    • Find the cost of our traveling educational programs cost-prohibitive
    • Workshop participants are between the ages of 5 and 12 years (If you have participants that do not fit this age range, we offer workshops for family engagement events, as well as Free Field Trips)

    What will students do during the workshop?

    We will start with an introduction to different types of coastal habitats that exist in the Greater Boston area (sandy beach, rocky shore, and salt marsh). Students are able to touch the live animals that are displayed by their respective habitats. Live animals can include snails, crabs, mussels, oysters, hermit crabs, and clams. Our educators will encourage youth to closely observe the animals, by sight and touch, communicate their observations, and draw on prior knowledge to make judgements about their behavior and anatomy. 

    How long is the workshop?

    The workshop is 1 hour long. 

    What will you need to set up the workshop?

    We will need two large tables (preferably 6 – 8 ft. long), and access to the set up area that does not require stairs.

    Will you need parking?

    Yes, parking is a requirement to have this workshop travel to your site. A visitor or guess pass for street parking is acceptable. 

    When can this workshop come to my site?

    This workshop is available only in the summer (July and August). Availability is limited to weekdays only. 

    What if I only have a few PreK youth, can they join the workshop?

    Unfortunately, this workshop is not age-appropriate or engaging for youth younger than 5 years old. 

    How many students can participate in this workshop?

    We can allow up to 40 students at one time. If your group is larger than 40 youth, we can split your group into two back-to-back 30-minute workshops for each smaller group.

 

Engineering and Erosion

A great option to bring more STEM learning to your community event
Boy drawing out a plan to test a solution for erosion

This traveling workshop offers a chance for youth and families to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning together. Using models of a sandy beach, youth and families are challenged to test different strategies to limit the amount of erosion to the beach. We encourage groups looking to extend their STEM offerings at a special event to try out this workshop. This workshop can be successful at many types of community events, from a STEM-focused family night to a neighborhood gathering at a local park (most appropriate for youth ages 6 and older). Read our FAQs to check eligibility.

  1. Engineering and Erosion FAQs

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Your organization must be a non-profit
    • Physically located and serve a neighborhood of Boston, or Cambridge
    • Your event must take place in out-of-school time (summer, school vacation weeks, weekends, weekday evenings)
    • Your event must be free for participants

    What kind of events do you travel to?

    We bring this hands-on workshop to all kinds of community events, from a neighborhood block party to a STEM night. We think there are lots of opportunities to engage families in STEM learning. Not sure if this is the right workshop for your event, please get in touch!

    What does the workshop look like?

    This is an open-ended workshop that does not include a formal introduction or wrap up. Participants are able to visit this activity and interact with the materials at their own pace. We will send Aquarium educators and teen interns to your site and set up anywhere from 3 – 4 models of our sandy coastline (containers filled with sand and water). Each container has an accompanying tool kit that youth and families will use to create a design that will slow the rate of erosion. There are many ways to approach this engineering challenge, and we encourage youth and families to experiment, build, test and redesign while thinking about how humans and animals use the beach!

    How long is the workshop?

    We can be flexible with how long we present this workshop for participants. In general we attend events with this workshop anywhere from 2 – 4 hours.

    What will you need to set up the workshop?

    We will need two large tables (preferably 6 to 8 ft. long), and access to the set up area that does not require stairs. If your event will be held outside, we would prefer to set up in a shaded area. If a shady area is not available, we are able to bring our own pop-up tent (10’ x 10’) and would need enough space to set this up.

    Will you need parking?

    Yes, parking is a requirement to have this workshop travel to your site. A visitor or guess pass for street parking is acceptable.

    When can this workshop come to my site?

    This workshop is available year round.

    What ages is this workshop most successful with?

    This workshop is most appropriate for ages 6 years old to adult.

    How many people can participate in this workshop?

    We do not have a limit to the number of people we can engage with this workshop, though we are limited to the number of people we can engage at one time.

 

Dream City

A fun, interactive workshop to get your community learning and talking about climate change and the neighborhoods of the future
dream city activity in boston

What kind of community do you want to live in? Ponder that at our Dream City workshop. This interactive exhibit allows neighbors to play alongside neighbors to make changes to our model city and share their ideas for their community. Explore how our collective dream city prepares us for our changing ocean and climate. Guests will walk away with ways to engage and become more climate-ready residents.

This workshop can travel to many types of community events; from farmers markets and festivals, to a neighborhood gathering in a local park! This program is most appropriate for ages 6 and older. Read our FAQs to check eligibility.

  1. Dream City FAQs

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Your organization must be a non-profit
    • Physically located and serve a neighborhood of Boston, or Cambridge
    • Your event must take place in out-of-school time (summer, school vacation weeks, weekends, weekday evenings)
    • Your event must be free for participants

    What does the workshop look like?

    This is an open-ended workshop that does not include a formal introduction or wrap up, participants are able to visit this workshop and work with the materials at their own pace. We will send Aquarium educators and teen interns to your site and set up our model city with LEGO® bricks. While guests build and contribute their aspirations for their community, our educators will be available to discuss current city efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change.

    How long is the workshop?

    We can be flexible with how long we present this workshop for participants. In general we attend events with this workshop anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

    What will you need to set up the workshop?

    We will need two large tables (preferably 6 to 8 ft. long), and access to the set up area that does not require stairs. If your event will be held outside, we would prefer to set up in a shaded area. If one is not available, we are able to bring our own pop-up tent (10’ x 10’) and would need enough space to set this up.

    Will you need parking?

    Yes, parking is a requirement to have this workshop travel to your site. A visitor or guess pass for street parking is acceptable.

    When can this workshop come to my site?

    This workshop is available year round.

    What ages is this workshop most successful with?

    This workshop is most appropriate for ages 6 and older.

    How many students can participate in this workshop?

    We do not have a limit to the number of people we can engage with this workshop, though we are limited to the number of people we can engage at one time.

 

Tidepool Touch Tanks

Live local tidepool animals at your community event
family outdoors looking at tidepool touchtank disply

Connect your community to the coast! This activity is designed to introduce local marine animals to your guests. Our Aquarium educators will set up tanks of live local tidepool animals for youth and adults to see, touch, and ask lots of questions about. These animals can be found along many of our local beaches, so come learn how to spot them on your next day at the beach.

This workshop is appropriate for all ages. Read our FAQs to check eligibility.

  1. Traveling Tidepool Touch Tanks FAQs

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Your organization must be a non-profit
    • Physically located and serve a neighborhood of Boston, or Cambridge
    • Your event must take place in Out-of-School time (summer, school vacation weeks, weekends, weekday evenings)
    • Your event must be free for participants

    What does the workshop look like?

    This is an open-ended workshop that does not include a formal introduction or wrap up, participants are able to visit the tanks of live tidepool animals at their own pace. We will send Aquarium educators and teen interns to your site and set up three to four tanks with live tidepool animals.

    How long is the workshop?

    We can be flexible with how long we present this workshop for participants, with animal safety in mind. In general we attend events with this workshop anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

    What will you need to set up the workshop?

    We will need two large tables (preferably 6 to 8 ft. long), and access to the set up area that does not require stairs. If your event will be held outside, we would prefer to set up in a shaded area. If one is not available, we are able to bring our own pop-up tent (10’ x 10’) and would need enough space to set this up.

    Will you need parking?

    Yes, parking is a requirement to have this workshop travel to your site. A visitor or guess pass for street parking is acceptable.

    When can this workshop come to my site?

    This workshop is available year round.

    What ages is this workshop most successful with?

    This workshop is appropriate for all ages.

    How many students can participate in this workshop?

    We do not have a limit to the number of people we can engage with this workshop, though we are limited to the number of people we can engage at one time.

 

Sustainable Seafood

See and touch live, local animals while learning more about New England seafood

Here’s more information about one of our best local seafood choices: farmed oysters!

oyster on half shell

How does our seafood get from the ocean to your plate? Aquarium educators and teen interns will set up three or four tanks of live, local marine animals for youth and adults to see and touch. Learn more about how these animals fit into the local ocean ecosystem, how we farm and fish for them, and what seafood choices are the most ocean-friendly.

This workshop is perfect for food festivals, farmers markets, and other community events! Great for all ages: the youngest scientists can get their hands wet while grown-ups learn how to make more informed decisions about their seafood! Read our FAQs to check eligibility.

  1. Sustainable Seafood FAQs

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Your organization must be a non-profit
    • Physically located and serve a neighborhood of Boston, or Cambridge
    • Your event must take place in Out-of-School time (summer, school vacation weeks, weekends, weekday evenings)
    • Your event must be free for participants

    What does the workshop look like?

    This is an open-ended workshop that does not include a formal introduction or wrap up, participants are able to visit the tanks of live tidepool animals at their own pace. We will send Aquarium educators and teen interns to your site and set up three or four tanks with live tidepool animals as well as signage about local seafood. Guests are invited to touch and observe animals as well as talk to our educators about New England seafood and fisheries.

    How long is the workshop?

    We can be flexible with how long we present this workshop for participants, however animal safety is a priority. In general, we attend events with this workshop anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

    What will you need to set up the workshop?

    We will need two large tables (preferably 6 to 8 ft. long), and access to the set up area that does not require stairs. If your event will be held outside, we would prefer to set up in a shaded area. If one is not available, we are able to bring our own pop-up tent (10’ x 10’) and would need enough space to set this up.

    Will you need parking?

    Yes, parking is a requirement to have this workshop travel to your site. A visitor or guess pass for street parking is acceptable.  

    When can this workshop come to my site?

    This workshop is available year round.

    How many students can participate in this workshop?

    We do not have a limit to the number of people we can engage with this workshop, though we are limited to the number of people we can engage at one time.

 

 

Note: Our online application form begins the process of scheduling a community program for your group. This is an inquiry form, meant to assist in the scheduling process only. You will be contacted by one of our staff to set a date for the actual visit.

For those outside of Boston and Cambridge, please see our school programs for details and pricing information. To apply for a free program, check back soon to complete our community program application form.

Questions?

Contact Community Programs at 617-973-0281 or communityprograms@neaq.org.