Discounts on admission and educational programs during the homeschool day at the Maritime

Homeschoolers can study the development of animals and seeds, explore the unique adaptations of sharks, dissect fish or squid, and learn about the importance of plankton — plus, enjoy priced admission Reduced – Wednesday April 27 during ‘Homeschool Day’ at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.

This focused day provides homeschooling students with numerous educational programs regularly presented to traditional school groups by Aquarium educators. Options on April 27 include seven STEM-focused classroom programs, two storytimes for preschoolers, and a hands-on boat cruise to examine marine life in Long Island Sound.

“One of the Aquarium’s priorities is to make our excellent STEM-based educational programs accessible to everyone, not just students in traditional schools,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s vice president for the education. “We are thrilled to bring this special day and unique learning opportunities to the many parents and homeschooled students in the tri-state area.”

The seven drop-off style programs include: one-hour introductions to sharks and seeds for ages 4 and up; one hour focuses on intertidal animals and squid adaptations for ages 7 and up; and a 90-minute lab for ages 10 and up that will compare the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems of fish and humans. Costs for in-class programs range from $5 to $8 per student, plus discounted admission.

During a 9-hour marine life encounter cruise, students aboard the Aquarium’s unique hybrid-electric research vessel, RV Spirit of the Sound, will examine and record animals raised off Long Island Sound. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian. All cruise participants must be at least 42 inches tall. Tickets for the two-hour cruise cost $25. Admission to the aquarium is optional.

For children ages 3 and under, Homeschool Day storytimes will be offered at 10:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Aquarium’s new STEM-focused “Sea & Discover Zone” for ages preschool. These 45-minute interactive sessions require the presence of a parent or guardian and are free with discounted admission.

Plus, homeschooled families can enjoy all of the Aquarium’s exhibits, including: the massive new ‘Pinniped Cove’ habitat, with seal training demonstrations at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; the brand new “Meerkats!” exposure; and a one-of-a-kind special exhibit that blends live animals, sculpture, and photography, “A Slug’s Life: Facing the Climate Endgame.”

With advance purchase online by Monday, April 25, discounted admission to Homeschool Day is $14 for children ages 3-12 and $19 for adults. (Tickets normally cost $19.95 for children and $28.95 for adults.)

Attendees can also include a 4D movie during their day, for $7 per person. The 12-minute time options are “Shark: A 4D Experience” and “Happy Feet 4D Experience”.

Aquarium members need only pay for any educational program, study cruise and/or 4D movie tickets.

Although guests are no longer required to wear masks, the Sea Aquarium continues to be a mask-friendly environment, as it is the best way to slow community spread.

Spaces in the “Homeschool Day” programs and the cruise are limited, so pre-registration is required by April 25. Get details of all the offerings – and sign up – by going to www.maritimeaquarium.org/homeschool-students.

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