School Programs

School Field Trips | Adopt-A-Class


School Field Trips

We incorporate grade-specific curriculum objectives into all of our field trips and outreach programs to meet Sunshine State Standards (K-12). 

  • Time: Monday through Friday at 10:30am
  • Cost: $8 per student, $15 per chaperone, teachers are complimentary.
  • Funding for Lee County Fourth Grade Title One schools may be available. See our Adopt-a-Class Program below.
  • All programs are by reservation only.
  • Capacity: Maximum of 60 students (Minimum 10 students).

Our field trips offer an extensive education into the world of mollusks.  The guides will discuss molluscan growth, habitats, reproduction, feeding, etc. We are happy to tailor our field trips to fit your needs! 

While at the Museum your students will rotate through four stations, lasting 15-20 minutes each.

Live Tank

Join one of our Educators for an up-close look at our live mollusks in our 8-foot long tank. Students view live mollusks and learn about the body structures that enable behaviors such as locomotion and feeding. Watch a Florida Fighting Conch use its foot for locomotion, spy a Lightning Whelk slam its trap door shut for protection, or witness Atlantic Calico Scallops zipping across the tank with their jet propulsion skills.

Hands-On Science

At this station we focus on three common Southwest Florida gastropods; the Florida Fighting Conch, the Lightning Whelk and the Horse Conch. Students use senses of sight, touch, and sound to closely examine egg casings, baby shells, and adult shells as they learn about shell structure, growth, and reproduction.

Museum Exhibits

Students explore the habitats in which mollusks live, and the cultural and historic importance of shells. Your guide will give you an inside look at some of our 30+ exhibits located in our “Great Hall”. Some of these exhibits include: Sanibel-Captiva Habitats, Fossil layers, Kingdom of the Landsnails, Cephalopods, Calusa: the Original Shell People and Worldwide Record-Size shells.

Art

Students express their creativity by completing a shell-themed art project.

Optional

Watch a thirty-minute locally filmed educational video called Mollusks in Action. See mollusks eat, move and protect themselves. Learn about their anatomy and how they grow. See females spawn egg cases which produce hundreds of babies. This movie starts at 10am.

*Please inform your field trip guide if your students want time to shop. All proceeds from our gift store go directly to supporting our educational programs.

“I had a lot of fun. I want to go back another time with my family! I touched a shark’s eye it was really slimy!”
-Averie, 4th grade student at Skyline Elementary School

“My class had a fantastic time there! Often trips are not possible because of funding, we thank you for making this one a reality for us!”
-Heather Watt, 4th grade teacher at Skyline Elementary School


Adopt-a-Class

Our Adopt-a-Class program is a donor-funded program which brings Lee County fourth graders from Title One schools to Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island, Florida for a fun, educational field trip. Before your students visit they will view a thirty-minute locally filmed educational video called Mollusks in Action. It is a must see for everyone visiting our beautiful barrier islands. Watch mollusks eat, move and protect themselves. Learn about their anatomy and how they grow. See females spawn egg cases which produce hundreds of babies.

Students will rotate through four stations (art, exhibit hall, hands-on science, and live tank) After the stations are completed students will eat lunch at the Museum (provided by the students/school) before heading back to school. This program is offered September through December & May; Monday-Thursday from 10:30am to 12:30pm.  Teachers and two parent chaperones per class are complimentary. $15 per extra chaperone. To help offset the cost of materials and supplies there is a suggested donation of $5 per child. Unfortunately, there will not be time to shop in the gift store on this field trip. 

For questions or to make a reservation, please contact:

Stefanie Wolf, M.S., Marine Biologist
239-395-2233
swolf@shellmuseum.org

“I had an EPIC time there.”
-Ava, 4th grade student at Skyline Elementary School

“Before I went to the museum I knew a little about shells, after I walked out of the museum I knew a lot about shells. The exhibits were very interesting and fun.”
-Amy, 4th grade student at Tanglewood Elementary School