Design Your Own Aquarium Program

Aquariums are filled with a fascinating array of life.

Aquarium programs are a set of activities organized by a branch of the aquarium to actively involve the public in education and awareness of issues and topics related to marine life. The Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, for instance, sponsors a Penguin Adoption, a program that intrigues children and adults alike, but perhaps for different reasons. Ultimately, programs can also serve as excellent marketing tools for the aquarium. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Analyze which exhibits are the most popular and choose one that you think markets well to the public. In order for a program to be successful it must cater in some way to public sensibility. The exhibit that you choose will become the face of your program, linking the aquarium directly to the activities that comprise your new idea.

2. Create a program that applies the life inside the tank to the life outside the tank. Children are interested in “petting tanks” that are manned by a marine specialist. They get to touch and feel unusual animals, even sharks, while listening to the science behind their feeding habits. Programs should apply the character of the exhibit in some way, as well. If it is a sea turtle exhibit that is the focus of your program, it may be helpful to turn everyday objects in the aquarium into things that correspond to the daily life of a sea turtle. For example, find an object that is the average size of a sea turtle egg, and have it placed in contrast with something the size of a common predator.

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3. Market your program to the general public. If your program involves children, it may be helpful to contact schools in the region and inquire about class trip possibilities. If it is a program that gives a special discount to seniors, then that can be included in the aquarium’s senior package.

4. Create a catchphrase that will distinguish your program as something unique. This will help people remember your program and what you are doing, even if they just see it at a glance. Anything that is different will tend to stick out. Repetition of this phrase on advertising materials will remind people of the mission of the program.