Higher Education

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Students visiting the aquarium will have an opportunity to learn about the world around them and the issues our ocean habitats face. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about issues we face at home and abroad. They will also get an understanding into the work and role the aquarium has an establishment for animal care and conservation.

We offer 3 types of educational tours, please click on the tabs below to find out more.

Duration: Approx. 75 minutes
Price per pupil: £9.00

What’s included:
– Guided tour of the aquarium
– Curriculum based workshop

Please select from one of the workshops below:

Inside The Life Of The Seal Sanctuary

Join us for a behind the scenes tour of the rehabilitation hospital for Grey and Common seals, here at Exploris. The group will get a tour of the aquarium, with one of our aquarists, who will introduce you to the animals that we house, informing you of their origin, exciting adaptations and detailing what it takes to look after them. Then the group will be taken into our usually off limits seal hospital to get the inside scope on what it takes to raise a pup for release back into the wild. The group will learn how we check for injuries, how we feed them, weigh them and medicate them, following stories of seals we have housed as examples. The group will get to watch footage of our seal releases and get a full understanding of what a seal pup will experience from the start to finish of their journey at Exploris. This workshop is ideal for anyone interested in a career in animal husbandry.

*Please note during this workshop the group will not get to encounter/touch/feed a seal. These are wild animals. Subject to availability. Max 15 people in the seal hospital at any one time so larger groups may be split into smaller groups. At certain times of the year there are no seals in the hospital.

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Sharks: Dominating Our Oceans

Tour the aquarium with one of our aquarists and meet the members of the shark family that live at Exploris. You will get one on one time with sharks and rays at our touchpools and witness Black Tip reef sharks feeding in the ocean tank. Then you will join one of our aquarists for a 30 minute classroom session getting to grips with how sharks have been so successful in surviving since the dinosaurs were around! Learn what adaptations they have, how they use their senses to hunt prey, how they reproduce and get up close and personal with shark and ray eggs, and learn how they have evolved diversified body types to survive in every habitat in the ocean, from Great white sharks to Manta rays – they all come from the same family! Then learn how we are working to protect sharks and rays here in Northern Ireland and what you can do to help.

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Duration: Approx. 45 minutes
Price per pupil: £7.00

What’s included:
Guided tour of the aquarium

The class will be guided through the aquarium by an aquarist. Students will learn a brief the history of the aquarium, the significance of its location and a history of Strangford Lough.

The tour will continue through the aquarium discussing some of our more unique species and points of interests, as well as current conservation issues.

Students will also learn how the seal unit rescue, rehabilitate and release Northern Ireland’s seals.

Duration: We advise allowing a minimum of 60 minutes for your visit
Price per pupil: £5.00

Pupils will tour the aquarium at their own pace guided by their teacher.

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