Free School Programs

Please note: Dominion Energy School Programs will be offered as either an on-site field trip or a virtual program for the 2022-2023 school year. Winning schools will be able to choose the option they want.

The Aquarium proudly offers free programming to classes through donation-funded Dominion Energy School Programs. Students visiting the Aquarium as part of Dominion Energy School Programs participate in classroom activities that reinforce South Carolina state science standards.

The program is offered daily mid-October through mid-May. Teachers of all subjects are invited to apply. At the close of the application process, forms are chosen at random through a lottery system. Our programs are free, but we do require all participating K-12th grade teachers to attend a training workshop (the first year they are selected) prior to bringing their class to the Aquarium.

Applications for Dominion Energy School Programs are closed. Please check back in May of 2023 for information on the 2023-2024 school year.

Our Programs

Students participating in Dominion Energy School Programs will take part in grade-specific, standards-based school programs. We provide a complimentary pre-visit and post-visit standards-based curriculum online. At-home learning and virtual modifications have been added to these activities.

Grades K- 2 Habitats

Students will discover South Carolina habitats and what living creatures need to survive as they play a habitat matching game and meet some of the Aquarium’s live animals.
Science Standards:
K.S.1A.1, K.S.1A.8, K.L.2A.1, K.L.2A.2, K.L.2A.3, K.L.2A.5, K.L.2A.6
1.S.1A.1, 1.S.1A.8, 1.E.4A.2, 1.E.4B.2, 1.L.5B.1, 1.L.58.2
2.S.1A.1, 2.S.1A.8, 2.L.5B.1, 2.L.5B.2

Grades 3-5 Communities (Food Chains and Adaptations)

Students will participate in an interactive game as well as meet some of the Aquarium’s live animals as they discuss food chains and the adaptations organisms need for survival.
Science Standards:
3.S.1A.6, 3.S.1A.8, 3.L.5A.1, 3.L.5A.2, 3.L.5B.1
4.S.1A.6, 4.S.1A.8,4.L.5B.2, 4.L.5B.3
5.S.1A.6, 5.S.1A.8, 5.L.4A.1, 5.L.4A.2, 5.L.4B.1, 5.L.4B.2, 5.L.4B.3

Grades 5-8 Watersheds

Environmental Scene Investigation (E.S.I.)! Students solve an environmental investigation. They will run tests, examine case studies and diagnose data to discover who is to blame for the watershed problems.
Science Standards:
5.S.1A.1, 5.S.1A.2, 5.S.1A.3, 5.S.1A.4, 5.S.1A.5, 5.S.1A.6, 5.S.1A.7, 5.S.1A.8, 5.S.1B.1, 5.E.3A.1, 5.E.3B.3
6.S.1A.1, 6.S.1A.2, 6.S.1A.3, 6.S.1A.4, 6.S.1A.5, 6.S.1A.6, 6.S.1A.7, 6.S.1A.8, 6.S.1B.1, 6.E.2A.3
7.S.1A.1, 7.S.1A.2, 7.S.1A.3, 7.S.1A.4, 7.S.1A.5, 7.S.1A.6, 7.S.1A.7, 7.S.1A.8, 7.S.1B.1, 7.EC.5A.3, 7.EC.5B.1, 7.EC.5B.3, 7.P.2B.3

Grades 6-8 Taxonomy

Students discover the science of classification, taxonomy, by participating in hands-on stations. They will use classification keys to identify fish, examine and touch invertebrates and try their luck at matching animal relatives.
Science Standards:
6.S.1A.8, 6.L.4A.2, 6.L.4B.1, 6.L.4B.2, 6.L.4B.3,
7.S.1A.8, 7.L.3B.1, 7.L.3B.2

Grades 6-12 Earth History

Students will uncover the mystery of a marine fossil graveyard. They will complete fossil ID, rock layers and site testing stations to figure out what, when and why the organisms died.
Science Standards:
6.S.1A.1, 6.S.1A.2, 6.S.1A.3, 6.S.1A.4, 6.S.1A.5, 6.S.1A.6, 6.S.1A.7, 6.S.1A.8, 6.S.1B.1, 6.E.5A.1, 6.L.4A.1
8.S.1A.1, 8.S.1A.2, 8.S.1A.3, 8.S.1A.4, 8.S.1A.5, 8.S.1A.6, 8.S.1A.7, 8.S.1A.8, 8.S.1B.1, 8.E.5A.1, 8.E.5A.2, 8.E.5A.5, 8.3.5B.3, 8.E.6A.1, 8.E.6A.2, 8.E.6A.3, 8.3.6A.4, 8.E.6B.2
H.E.3A.5, H.E.3A.6, H.E.3B.3, H.E.4A.3, H.E.4A.4, H.E.4A.5, H.E.6A.5
H.B.4B.2, H.B.6A.1, H.B.6C.1, H.B.6D.1

High School Human Impacts (Sea Turtles)

Sea Turtle Emergency Room! Students will participate in a mock diagnosis of two injured sea turtles by examining x-rays, sifting through fecal samples, running blood tests and doing external observations. They will discover why sea turtles strand and what they can do to help.
Science Standards:
H.B.1A.1, H.B.1A.2, H.B.1A.3, H.B.1A.4, H.B.1A.5, H.B.1A.6, H.B.1A.7, H.B.1A.8, H.B.1B.1, H.B.6C.1, H.B.6D.1

High School Human Impacts (Dolphins)

Students will examine 2 stranded dolphins by doing external observations, measuring toxin levels in stomach contents and blubber, counting white blood cells and testing for respiratory infection. They will discover why dolphins strand and what they can do to help.
Science Standards:
H.B.1A.1, H.B.1A.2, H.B.1A.3, H.B.1A.4, H.B.1A.5, H.B.1A.6, H.B.1A.7, H.B.1A.8, H.B.1B.1, H.B.6C.1, H.B.6D.1

Teacher Workshops

All science teachers are required to attend a School Program Teacher Workshop the first year they win a free program. More information on the dates and times of the workshops will be given via email to the teachers who win a free program.

Special thanks to Dominion Energy for championing the future of this flagship education program at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Sea the difference your donation makes!