Fascinating and Fun Learning Experiences
A visit to The Wetlands Institute is a “hands on” educational experience that is fascinating and fun! The Wetlands Institute hosts more than 20,000 visitors each year. Participants of all ages are able to chose from a number of hands-on activities and experiences including guided tours, aquarium feedings, lectures, touch tank demonstrations and featured programs. Our formal education programs served over 12,000 children from nearly 150 local schools and organizations.
Wetlands Institute Educational Programs
Environmental Education Field Trip Program
All of our environmental education programs emphasize hands-on learning and the scientific method. We believe children learn more from getting a little wet or muddy than from listening to a lecture. School groups visiting the Institute range in age from Kindergarten to High School and can experience a variety of hands-on educational activities including:
- Exploring the unique ecosystem of the salt marsh
- Learning about the food web connections among plants and animals
- Examining the life and conservation efforts of the diamondback terrapin
- Visiting the beach to observe and examine the plants and animals that call it home
- Discovering the characteristics of a wetland by performing different experiments including back bay seining.
Science Education at Sea (SEAS) Program
Our SEAS programs take place on a boat! Educational activities are hands-on and all participants including students, chaperones and teachers get involved with the sampling and learning process. Students are amazed by what they see in just one drop of water through our Plankton Studies program. There is no better way to learn about sea creatures than to hold them, and students are introduced to a variety of organisms through our Live Animal Touch Tanks. What swims beneath the surface? Students learn by pulling a Trawl Net through the water and examining the variety of crustaceans, fish and algae they catch. Dolphins love a good game and students are treated to a range of 3 to 300 dolphins in one Dolphin Watching trip. SEAS trips feature five different learning stations and leave from two locations in New Jersey (Cape May and Sandy Hook).
Traveling Environmental Education and Group Outreach Programs
Our Traveling Environmental Education and Group Outreach Programs allow us to “Bring the Wetlands to You.” The Institute brings the live animals and exciting presentations to schools, libraries, campgrounds, ferries, festivals and almost anywhere else in the tri-state area. These unforgettable educational experiences are adapted for all age groups and include some fascinating topics such as:
- Sea Creatures with Amazing Features
- Aquatic Adaptations
- Traveling Turtles
- Plankton: Bugs of the Sea
- Saltwater Gene Pools
- Life in a Salt Marsh
- Traveling Touch Tank
Summer Nature Program
Through discovery, science experimentation, games, trips and more, The Wetlands Institute explores seven weeks of fun themes and topics, each working to promote a desire to preserve the earth’s abundant diversity of life. Weekly activities are offered from ages 5 through 13 with special bi-weekly program offerings for children age 4. With a new theme each week, participants are treated to hands-on fascinating fun each day.