School Groups

2014–2015 Sharktastic Educational Classes

Educator Appreciation Days FREE Field Trip Review Event!

February 20 – March 8, 2015

Teacher and One Guest FREE! Visit All 8 Ripley’s Tennessee Attractions!

Must bring School ID & Current Paycheck Stub. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! Additional guest up to 4 at $10.99 plus tax. * Standard Home School Rates Apply for Home Schools.


  • NEW Field Trip Experience!Proud to announce a NEW field trip experience for your students! The Ripley’s ExtremE Field Trip Challenge, or the REEF Challenge, is an Action-Packed 3 Attraction Adventure. During this new standards-based experience, middle and high school students will use their critical thinking skills as well as teamwork to complete several challenges. During these tasks, teams will be directed to various Gatlinburg Ripley’s attractions! Reservations are required. Contact the Education Department for more information.

Gatlinburg Education ProgramsWe offer a varied selection of NEW programs designed to meet the Next Generation Science and Common Core Standards. Upon booking, please let us know if your school is a Tennessee Title 1 to receive discounted student admission tickets. Be sure to request information on the Outreach Programs available to enjoy directly in your school classroom when visiting the aquarium is not possible.

Call and Inquire about our Outreach Programs!

We strive to ensure that the experiences provided will be an extension of what is learned in the classroom, and to provide students with a deeper understanding of why it is important to protect and conserve our ocean’s environment.


The classes listed below may be adapted to any age level. Use the tabs to find a class you want, then click the “Reserve Your Class Here” button to make your reservation online. Easy!

This form is only a reservation request. A confirmation notice and final price will be emailed or faxed to your school within seven (7) days of receipt of the Online Reservation Request. Please follow up if you do not receive a confirmation notice within that time period.




What Am I
Students are asked, ‘What Am I?’ when they are shown a close up view of some of the animals found in the ocean. After many amusing guesses, the animal’s identity is revealed along with some amazing facts.

Sharks Tails and Teeth
What makes sharks different from all the other fish in the ocean?  Students will explore shark diversity while uncovering their many unique adaptations.

Classes for Pre-K

Movin’ and Groovin’
Music and fun are the basis of this program designed especially for Pre-K students. Using movement, students will learn how different underwater animals make their way through the ocean.

Ocean Art
Art and fun are the basis of this program designed especially for Pre-K students. Using art, students will learn where different underwater animals live in the ocean.

Classes for K-2nd Grade

Habitat Sweet Habitat
Students discover the characteristics of a habitat while exploring the sights and inhabitants of the coral reef, tropical rainforest, Antarctic and Appalachian forest.

Fish Bowl
Students will explore the characteristics of a habitat from the perspective of a goldfish. Are food, water, and shelter the only things a goldfish needs to survive? Find out during this hands-on discovery.

Life Cycles of the Sea
Students will learn about how life cycles differ between marine animals as well as how organisms of the same species may vary. We will take a close up look at the life cycle of jelly fish and compare it to that of other animals.

Classes for 3rd-5th Grades

Turtle Trek
Sea turtles make one of the most incredible journeys of any marine animal. During this program, we will walk through the steps that a sea turtle takes to survive as well as discuss the obstactles they face. Students will also learn how their actions impact marine animals and their ecosystems.

Pollution Solution
Will pollution here in Tennessee ever reach the Gulf of Mexico?  Find out as students tackle the problem of pollution and explore its effect on our local environment and beyond.

Adaptation Station
How is it that animals can live in the water and we cannot. During this program, students will discover the adaptations of marine animals while comparing them to household items. 

Classes for 6th-8th Grades

Squid Dissection
There are more than 300 different types of squid that have been identified around the world.  However, it is believed that many more exist. This program will teach students about squid and how they function.

Macro Vs. Micro
Plankton are plants and animals that cannot swim against a current, they go wherever the water takes them.  During this activity, students will learn how to use two types of microscopes while exploring the diverse world of plankton.

Extreme Earth Makeover
The theory of plate tectonics has led to many explanations about Earth’s physical features. During this program, students will discuss topics such as plate tectonics, continental drift and the geologic time scale. Students will also understand the concept that knowing information about the past will help us to preserve the future.

Classes for High School (9th-12th)

Squid Dissection
There are more than 300 different types of squid that have been identified around the world.  However, it is believed that many more exist. This program will teach students about squid and how they function.

Careers in Marine Science                                                                                                           Explore a variety of fascinating careers in Marine Science. From animal training to water chemistry, students can search for their niche in this dynamic field and get their questions answered by a Marine Biologist. 

What’s In Our Water?
The chemistry of water is vital to the health of our fish.  Discover the steps we take every day to provide our animals with a clean and healthy environment.

Ripley’s Ocean Challenge
Students team up during this ‘Jeopardy’ style trivia game to test their knowledge of various science topics.  The thrill of competition makes learning fun and exciting!

Please call the Education Department 888-240-1358 ext. 2142 or send an email to our education department.

Teacher & Chaperone Policy

We recognize the important role that teachers/chaperones play on field trips. Our admission policy is as follows:

  • Grades Preschool 2-5 yrs old: 1 free adult for every 5 paid students
  • Grades Kindergarten–12th: 1 free adult for every 10 paid students

Guidebook Souvenir Guide Books
Purchase your Souvenir Guide Book for $2.00 plus tax each. The guide book is filled with a lot of useful and educational information.

Also visit the Cargo Hold, a wonderful gift shop filled with educational as well as fun souvenirs. Chaperones are required to stay with their group of students while in the Cargo Hold.