Classroom Programs


When scheduling your field trip, add a Classroom Program to the day!

These programs are designed to complement GulfQuest exhibits and are aligned with state standards for science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts for all of the Gulf Coast states.

  • Classes taught privately in a GulfQuest classroom by trained GulfQuest educators.
  • Two classrooms: Classroom 1 capacity is 28 students; Classroom 2 capacity is 20 students. a minimum of 15 students is required to reserve a classroom.
  • Class length is 45 minutes.
  • Classroom programs must be reserved and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Classroom programs are included when you book a field trip.
  • Classroom programs run from the beginning of September through the end of May.

Under each class description, you will find your science, social studies and math standards for Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Please note that while they are not listed, we do focus on Mississippi's Science Inquiry Standards and Florida's Practice of Science Standards.

2017-2018 Classroom Programs


  1. Ocean Creatures

This is the perfect class for our youngest mariners. They will play toss with an Earth Ball (think beach ball) and share what they see (land, water, clouds). They will find the Gulf of Mexico on both the Earth Ball and on a flat map and learn about some cool fish found in the Gulf.  They’ll conclude with a make-n-take, painted fish print.  This class is 30 minutes. (Related Exhibits: Ocean Planet and Comings and Goings)

AL Social Studies: K: 8

MS Science: K: 4b

FL Social Studies: K: G.1.2, G.1.4

Grades K-1:

  1. Day Sky, Night Sky

Don’t be left in the dark! Students will compare the day sky and night sky. They’ll discover that objects in the sky can help them find their way just as they did for the explorers. They’ll create their own constellation and then make a sundial to take home. (Related Exhibits: The Sextant, Cross-Staff and Quadrant, Night Skies)

AL Science: 1st: 4

AL Social Studies: K: 8, 10

MS Science: K: 4f; 1st: 4e

FL Science: K: E.5.2, E.5.3; 1st: E.5.1

  1. Going with the Wind – NEW!

Air is all around us, sometimes it’s still and sometimes it moves. What causes the air to move? Is it different on land than at sea? How does it affect the weather? Your students will find out the answers to these questions and more. They’ll make a wind sock to take with them so they can continue to study the wind. (Related Exhibits: Setting Sail, Wind’s Up, The Crow’s Nest, Extreme Storms)

AL Science: K: 9, 10

MS Social Studies: 1st: 2d

FL Science: 1st: E.6.2

FL Social Studies: K: G.3.3; 1st: G.1.6

  1. Map It! – NEW!

Are you going somewhere? Do you know how to get there? Students will learn about maps and how the early explorers used them. They’ll learn the four main cardinal directions and make a map of a place they know very well, like their bedrooms, backyards, or classrooms. (Related Exhibits: Chart a Course, Longitude Challenge, Navigation Game, Comings and Goings)

AL Social Studies: K: 8, 9, 10; 1st: 8  

MS Social Studies: K: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4a; 1st: 2a, 2b

FL Social Studies: K: G.1.2, G.1.4; 1st: A.2.2, G.1.2, G.1.5

  1. Sink or Float

What makes things sink in water or float on top? Students will experiment with different objects to see if they will sink or float. They’ll also learn about floating in freshwater and salt water and use materials to make model life jackets to help keep things afloat. (Related Exhibits: What’s Inside, Depth Soundings)

AL Science: K: 2

AL Social Studies: 1st: 8

MS Science: K: 2a

FL Science: K: P.8.1; 1st: P.8.1

Grades 2-3

  1. Boats and Buoys

What's the difference between a canoe and a barge? How do both stay on top of the water? Students will discover the answer to these questions by first testing the buoyancy of objects with varying densities. They’ll experiment with objects buoyancy in freshwater and salt water. Then they’ll make a boat that can not only float but can also hold cargo! (Related Exhibits: Ship Shape, Plank a Boat)

AL Science: 3rd: 1

MS Science: 3rd: 2a

FL Science: 2nd: P.8.1

  1. Can You Dig It?

Students will uncover, sort and classify artifacts just like archaeologists do on Dog River and other sites! The students will use directional terms to describe where they found the artifacts in their dig site. Then they’ll use the artifacts to tell a story about the people who used them. Students will be introduced to Native Americans and early settlers of Alabama. (Related Exhibits: Shores of the Gulf, Stream of Time)

AL Science: 3rd: 9, 11

AL Social Studies: 2nd: 3, 4; 3rd: 13

AL Math: 2nd: 25, 26; 3rd: 25

MS Science: 2nd:2b, 2c, 4g; 3rd: 2a, 5a

MS Math: 2nd: 2.G.2, 2.G.3; 3rd: 3.G.2

FL Science: 2nd: E.6.2, P.8.1

FL Social Studies: 2nd: A.2.1, A.2.2, A.2.4

FL Math: 2nd: G.1.2, G.1.2; 3rd: G.1.1, G.1.2

  1. Time for Trade – NEW!

Trading has been done since the beginning of time. People first traded goods and services. Later, money became the exchange for goods. Learn how today’s items are imported and exported and where products come from and are shipped to. Students will use their map skills to trace and then plan a trade route. (Related Exhibits: Welcome Aboard, What’s Inside, Comings and Goings, Cargo Conductor, Crane Operator, Tools of the Trade, Portholes to the Sea)

AL Social Studies: 2nd: 6, 7, 8; 3rd: 5, 6, 7, 8

MS Social Studies: 2nd: 2a, 2b, 2c, 4a, 4b, 4c; 3rd: 2a, 2b, 4a, 4c

FL Social Studies: 2nd: G.1.2, G.1.3, G.1.4, E.1.2, E.1.3; 3rd: G.1.1, G.1.2, G.1.3, G.1.4, G.1.5, G.1.6, G.2.1

  1. Wind Ways – NEW!

Currents, jet streams, and doldrums are all created by moving air, or lack there-of. Students will learn about different types of maritime wind in our area and how it affects our daily lives. They will also create a wind vane to take back with them. (Related Exhibits: The Crow’s Nest, Extreme Storms, Weather Signals, Wind’s Up, Setting Sail)

AL Science: 3rd: 1, 13

MS Science: 2nd: 4c; 3rd: 4c

FL Science: 2nd: E.7.1, E.7.4

Grades 4-6:

  1. Artifact or Fiction

Students will play the role of archaeologists as they excavate a dig site on Dog River. They will create a grid of the area and make inferences about the people who used the items that are uncovered. Artifacts are related to Native Americans and early settlers in Alabama. (Related Exhibits: Shores of the Gulf, Stream of Time)

AL Social Studies: 4th: 2; 5th: 1

AL Math: 4th: 26; 5th: 23

MS Social Studies: 4th: 3a, 6a; 5th: 5c; 6th: 4a

MS Math: 4th: 4.G.1; 5th: 5.G.1

FL Social Studies: 4th: A.1.1, A.3.1; 5th: A.1.2, A.3.2, G.1.2, G.1.4; 6th: G.2.1, G.2.4, G.5.2, W.2.1, W.2.3

FL Math: 4th: G.1.1; 5th: G.1.1

  1. Bridge the Gap – NEW!

Bridges are all around us – over land and water – and are modern marvels. Students will learn about the many different types of bridges in our area and how they help us cross and allow boats through, including the new Mobile River Bridge. They will then work together to design their very own bridges. (Related Exhibits: Bridge Wing, Hidden Highways)

AL Science: 5th: 6

AL Math: 4th: 27;  6th: 24

AL Social Studies: 4th: 16

MS Science: 6th: 2c

MS Math: 4th: G2

MS Social Studies: 5th: 5C

FL Science: 5th: P.13.1;  6th P.13.2

FL Math: 4th: G.1.2

FL Social Studies: 5th: A.6.3;  6th: G.5.2

  1. Hurricane Harbor – NEW!

A harbor can provide safety during wartime and during a storm, such as a hurricane. This class combines maritime weather and how ships can safely dock during extreme storms. Students become meteorologists as they discover how to spot an advancing storm and learn how to get boaters to safety until the storm passes.  (Related Exhibits: The Crow’s Nest, Extreme Storms, Weather Signals, Ocean Planet)

AL Science: 4th: 16, 17; 6th: 1, 12

AL Social Studies: 4th: 1; 5th: 1; 6th: 11, 12

MS Science: 4th: 4c; 5th: 1a, 1c, 4c; 6th: 1a, 1c

MS Social Studies: 4th: 5f; 6th: 5c

FL Science: 5th: E.7.3, E.7.6, E.7.7; 6th: E.7.2, E.7.6, E.7.7, E.7.8

FL Social Studies: 4th: G.1.3; 5th: G.3.1; 6th: G.5.3

  1. It’s Not My Fault – NEW!

We experience weather in our area that is not our fault – storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. What we don’t experience much are earthquakes. Students will learn about the tectonic plate theory, why earthquakes occur, and how the energy moves in the earth.  Then students will look at the four seismic zones that affect Alabama including the one in our area and plot recent earthquakes. They will then design a house that will withstand an earthquake, and learn some disaster prevention techniques. (Related Exhibits: Ocean Planet)

AL Science: 4th: 2, 4, 6, 12, 14; 5th: 14; 6th: 4, 5, 6, 9

AL Social Studies: 4th: 1; 5th: 1

MS Science: 4th: 2c, 4b; 5th: 2a, 2c, 4a, 4b; 6th: 2c, 4a, 4b

FL Science: 4th: P.11.1; 6th: E.6.1, E.6.2

  1. Light the Way – NEW!

Lighthouses have shown mariners the way for hundreds of years. Some are on land and some are out at sea. Students will learn about lighthouses in the Gulf of Mexico. They’ll also learn how lighthouses light the way by experimenting with properties of light – traveling in a straight line, reflects, and refracts. (Related Exhibits: Shores of the Gulf, Take Bearings, Middle Bay Lighthouse -- located outside, Shores of the Gulf -- Sand Island Lighthouse Floor Plate)

AL Science: 4th: 2, 7, 8

MS Science: 4th: 2e; 5th: 2e; 6th: 2e

FL Science: 5th: P.10.1, P.10.4

  1. Port Power

This class requires some heavy lifting! Students will learn how simple machines follow the Law of Conservation of Energy by moving their own "cargo." They’ll discover that the total amount of energy never changes but they can increase their mechanical advantage as they experiment with different types of pulley systems. They'll also learn about methods used to load and unload cargo at the Port of Mobile, the nation’s 9th largest port. (Related Exhibits: Crane Operator, Cardo Handler)

AL Science: 4th: 1, 2; 5th: 6, 7

AL Mathematics: 4th: 2, 3, 5, 13; 5th: 2, 3, 13; 6th: 1, 3

MS Science: 4th: 2c; 5th: 2a, 2c, 2d; 6th: 2c, 2f

MS Mathematics: 4th: 4.OA.2, 4.OA.3, 4.OA.5, 4.NF.2; 5th: 5.OA.2, 5.NF.3; 6th: 6.RP.1, 6.RP.3

FL Science: 5th: P.13.1, P.13.2; 6th: P.11.1, P.13.1

FL Mathematics: 4th: OA.1.2, OA.1.3, OA.3.5, NF.1.2; 5th: OA.1.2, OA.2.3, NF.2.3; 6th: RP.1.1, RP.1.3

Grades 7-12:

  1. Full Steam Ahead – New!

Steam powered boats took off in the 1800s, both for work and for recreation. They were used to move cargo but they were also used for racing, which often proved to be dangerous. Students will learn about steam powered vessels and discover how high pressure from steam can move a propeller. They will then use the engineering design process to make model paddle boats. Finally, they will race their boats against their classmates, much like the hazardous sport, to see whose boat can travel the farthest! (Related Exhibits: Sea Sense, Steam Engine)

AL Science: 8th: 7, 9, 10, 13; Physical Science: 2, 7, 8, 11, 12; Physics: 1, 2; Earth and Space Science: 13

AL Social Studies: 7th Geography: 10

MS Social Studies: 8th: 2b

MS Science: 7th: 2c, 2f; 8th: 2c, 2f; Physical Science: 2b, 2c; Physics: 3a

FL Science: 7th: P.11.2

  1. Nautical Navigation

In order to get where you are going, you need to know where you are! Math meets geography during this class as students learn about ancient navigation tools. They’ll explore circles, angles, and degrees to complete their finished projects – a quadrant. Then, they’ll be able to find their latitude with the help of celestial beings in the night sky. (Related Exhibits: Sextant, Quadrant and Cross-Staff, Longitude Challenge) 

AL Social Studies: 9th: 2

AL Mathematics: 7th: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; 8th: 1, 2; Algebra I: 4, 7; Geometry: 1, 4, 25, 28

MS Social Studies: 8th: 2

MS Mathematics: 7th: 7.G.2, 7.G.3, 7.G.4, 7.G.5, 7.G.6; 8th: 8.NS.1, 8.NS.2; Algebra I: N-Q.1, A-SSE.1; Geometry: G-CO.1, G-CO.4, G-C.2, G-C.5

FL Mathematics: 7th: G.1.2, G.1.3, G.2.4, G.2.5, G.2.6; 8th: NS.1.1, NS.1.2; 9-12th: N-Q.1.1, A-SSE.1.1, G-CO.1.1, G-CO.1.4, G-C.1.2, G-C.2.5

  1. Trade Routes

With the Port of Mobile as the backdrop to this class, students will learn which types of goods have been imported and exported throughout history. During an interactive game, the students will demonstrate the concept of global interdependence which will illustrate just how connected we are to the rest of the world. (Related Exhibits: Welcome Aboard, What’s Inside, Comings and Goings, Cargo Conductor, Crane Operator, Ocean Planet, Tools of the Trade, Portholes to the Sea, Great Gulf Challenge)

AL Social Studies: 7th Geography: 1, 2, 6, 7; 7th Civics: 7; 12th Economics: 1, 3, 6

MS Social Studies: 7th: 7b; 8th: 2; Intro to World Geography: 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d; Economics: 2

FL Social Studies: 7th: E.1.3; 8th: E.1.1, E.3.1; 9-12th: G.4.4, E.1.4

  1. Ocean Planet

There are three types of water that surround our region – freshwater, brackish water and saltwater. Human factors such as waste disposal can cause changes to these waters. Students will evaluate samples from the Mobile River and the Gulf of Mexico. They will test the pH and turbidity, learn about oxygen depletion and experiment with salt water. (Related Exhibits: Great Gulf Challenge, Ocean Today, Ocean Planet)

AL Science: 7th: 5, 6, 7, 11; Physical Science: 4; Earth and Space Science: 13, 14, 15; Environmental Science: 4, 6, 9, 11

AL Social Studies: 7th Geography: 3, 9

MS Science: 7th: 4d, 4g; 8th: 4d; Chemistry: 5a; Marine and Aquatic Science: 2d, 4a; Environmental Science: 2e, 3a

FL Science: 7th: L.17.3; 9-12th: L.17.2, L.17.3, L.17.4, L.17.7, E.7.3, E.7.4




This means "in good order." Sailors from Bristol, England took particular pride in the look of their vessels, keeping them well painted and clean when in port. Richard Henry Dana used the term in Two Years Before the Mast (1841).