Mar 312014

About two weeks ago, I got to chaperone my first grader’s field trip to the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford.  My family used to be members there, so he was familiar with the place, but for many of the kids, it was their first time there.

Three out of the six first grade classes went on the field trip that day & the other three went the following day.  The people at the Ocean Explorium split each classroom into groups and we went through four separate stations as a group.  The Ocean Explorium is relatively small, so I think that was the best way to run things.


Our first stop was Science on a Sphere.  Using high-speed computers, multiple projectors and advanced imaging techniques, Science on a Sphere creates an image of the planet in 3-D.



Next up, we went to an area with two touch tanks filled with local species such as scallops, lobsters and more.  One of the Ocean Explorium’s intern, Brandon, took some of the creatures out, explained what they were and then passed them around for the kids to touch & hold.


My guy wanted no part of touching anything “slimy” and I can’t say I blame him.  However he did want to touch a quahog because it was just the shell that he was touching.


The next exhibit we went to was the touch tank.  The touch tank features Cownose Rays, Atlantic Stingrays, and Bamboo Sharks.




Again, he wasn’t interested in touching anything in the tank, so he just stood outside and watched the rays & sharks swim around.

Next to the touch tank, they had some Shark eggs, which he was fascinated by.


Our last station was where the kids got to dissect a squid.  Yes, you read that right.  I had no idea that something like that was going to be part of the day & I am fairly certain that my son’s teacher saw all the color drain from my face when the girl from the Ocean Explorium said that’s what we were going to be doing next.  She came over to me and said that there were going to be kids that wouldn’t want to participate, so I could stay over to the side with them.

Thank god.

I think I am still scarred from the starfish I had to dissect in 7th grade biology.



Not only was I totally grossed out by the thought of cutting apart a dead squid, but so was my guy.  He is totally my child.  He was even more grossed out by the smell of them.


He was the first one who went and sat off to the side, but he was quickly followed by several of his classmates (and me).


Overall, it was a great day and I am so happy I got to spend the day with my kiddo and his classmates.  The Ocean Explorium is located at 174 Union Street in New Bedford, MA.

  92 Responses to “A Field Trip to the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford”

  1. I don’t think I would have wanted to dissect a squid either. I remember dissecting a frog in high school and it was GROSS!

  2. Never had to dissent a starfish and think I would have cried, because I always loved seeing the starfish the best as a kid when we went to the aquarium. I know sounds crazy, but just had a thing for them I suppose.

  3. This is a great place for kids to get hands on learning experience.

  4. I really loved seeing their trip!! It looks like a fun place.

  5. I love touch tanks! It’s great to be able to feel what they are learning about.

  6. These places are so cool. I really need to get out and explore Arizona more so I can take Rey to these here 🙂


  7. It looks like the kids all had a great time! Nice aquarium! I love when they let the kids touch and explore!

  8. How did I not know about the Ocean Explorium?! My son would love this. I can’t wait to check it out – it’s so close to us.

  9. That looks like so much fun! I wish they had things like these where I live. I’m sure my toddler would be there all the time. Without a doubt!

  10. This looks so amazing. My kids would love this! How fun!

  11. Fun day! i don’t think I could dissect a starfish though 🙂

  12. Oh, I could almost smell that. lol. So you have naturally curly hair that goes very poofy in the humidity? I too have that problem, but Utah is a dry summer heat and I love it, (except when I sweat). lol

  13. This looks like so much fun! What a great field trip!

    Danielle at Framed Frosting

  14. What a fun day! I can’t wait to do stuff like this with my boys when they are older. We have an aquarium similar to this in corpus Christi tx that I love going to with my boys. I’ve always loved aquariums.:) But I’m with you and do not want to dissect a squid!

  15. Looks like it was a wonderful learning experience, minus squid smells. LOL I still fondly remember being a chaperone for my son. He always says I was the bext chaperone ever! LOL

  16. That looks like so much fun. I would love to take my daughter.

  17. I hated dissecting things in Biology.

  18. I always loved going to places like that! must be fun to go as a mom and watch all the kids!

  19. That does look like a fun place to visit, but I’d have been right there on the sidelines with ya’s. I don’t have the stomach for it, at all. *willeys*

  20. I love going on field trips with the kids! I probably would have parked it right next to your son. Those slimy things gross me out too!

  21. That looks fun! I could seriously pet rays and sharks all day!

  22. I wouldn’t be touching any of it either lol. Looks like a wonderful field trip for the kiddos.

  23. That looks like a fun and fabulous field trip! 😀

  24. This looks so fun!!! What an awesome field trip and it’s great that you got to go along.

  25. Looks like another great family outing! Those rays are so cool to look at. Up close and personal!

  26. What a great outing! Incredible how we are also on the coast and have no educational facilities like this one around us very sad. Yes, jealous 😉

  27. Love that you got to experience this with your son! I’m with him on the dissection thing and love his expression in the photo!

  28. Your family always do such fun things! Seems like a great outing, I wish I could have gone!

  29. We did this last year and I think it was my fav field trip so far.

  30. What a fun adventure! My 4 year old would love that. So cool.

  31. Love that you had a good trip, and I think I would be sitting out too, depending on the day. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  32. How fun! I love seeing aquariums almost as much as kids do!

  33. What a great, fun field trip! I love getting to see things like this. Unfortunately, my husband got the last field trip like this and I got one to the neighborhood park! Looks like it was fun to explore the ocean explorium in New Bedford!

  34. What a fabulous exploration trip! We have plans to visit our aquarium in the next few months. But I don’t think it will be as cool at this! -Amber E.

  35. oh man i remember dissecting squid in second grade. ga-ross!! i love touch tanks though

  36. That looks like such a fun field trip! I always love those touch tanks, especially when you can pet the stingray!

  37. Yes, Formaldehyde is one of the more awful smells in the universe! We are headed to the Aquarium this weekend and taking Red for the first time. There is a petting tank with bonnetheads and rays!

  38. No dissecting here please! The stingrays are cool. The neon colors are wild, not what I expected.

  39. That place is so cool! You take the most interesting field trips and I just realized one of the drawbacks of living in a small town is the absence of anything cool other than cows to look at.

    I refused all dissections in high school and had to do make up projects if I didn’t want to fail. I didn’t see any point in randomly killing all those animals. they must go through a lot of squid. that kind of makes me sad, but I do realize some people will actually need to learn about it and might become future ocean biologists, or something.

  40. This looks like such a great learning place. I love that they are able to touch the sharks and stingrays to see they are not so scary 🙂

  41. What a great place (even if they dissected a squid, 😉 ). This was a great choice for a field trip and I wish all schools would do more of this. I guess it helps when you live close to the ocean. I love your little guys expressions!

  42. This looks really neat. My son would love something like this. I wish we lived closer!

  43. How fun is this! My son would love all of the hands on things! The sting rays would be my favorite!

  44. AH! I can’t believe they dissected a squid! I couldn’t do it!

  45. rays are so much fun. i love seeing them at aquariums

  46. I have never been there, but I am wanting to check it out now! My kids love underwater sea creatures.

  47. I used to love going on field trips. This looks like it was a great one!

  48. What a great field trip, looks like so much fun. Those touch tanks are interesting, its a great way for kids to get hands on with their education.

  49. Ewww. Not sure I could deal with the dead squid, but that looks like a really cool place. I love the touch tanks!

  50. Oh wow! That would be so much fun, not only for my kids but me too! I love how they let the kids do hands on things!

  51. I love that they have so much for the children to interact with. That makes learning much more fun! All you had to dissect in school was a starfish??? We got to do a baby pig in 9th grade – talk about grossed out!!

  52. Looks like a lot of fun! My kids would have loved those touch tanks!

  53. What an awesome field trip I want to tag along next time this was fun.

  54. That is way more intense than any field trip my kids have been on. I was totally jealous until the dissection part. Now I’m not so sure. 🙂

  55. Oh wow this looks like such a fantastic trip – I really fancy going to an aquarium myself now 🙂 x

  56. You guys are always going to the best places. This looks like so much fun. The boys really enjoy the aquarium.

  57. Looks like a lot of fun. I like class trips. it is great to get the kids out of the classroom.

  58. Looks like a lot of fun! I remember those days where we were asked to dissect a frog – lol!

  59. I remember being a chaperone to the zoo for one of my younger brothers, long before I had my own kids. It was a lot of fun watching their faces!

  60. Looks like a fun place! I’ve heard of quahog before but never seen one.

  61. What a great field trip! I’ve done so many dissections it’s not even funny. I can still smell it if I think back to it!

  62. Oh man, now I want to go there! It looks so cool!

  63. It sounds like a great learning/fun trip. I am curious as to why they would dissect a squid for them at this age. I would not have participated in that part either – glad you were able to go elsewhere.

  64. Looks like you all had fun. I dissected a worm in high-school it was the nastiest thing ever!

  65. That looks super fun! We went to a local one here and it’s so much fun! I bet the kids want to go again, so much to learn. Looks like you all had fun

  66. wooow…wait until my kids saw those photos…It’s a great place for exploration…TFS et cheers from Indonesia..

  67. I love the 3D earth shots, especially the colorful one! Very cool! Looks like you all had a great time exploring!

  68. What an exciting field trip! I wish my son’s field trips were this exciting, because I know he would enjoy them even more. His usual school field trips are to colleges, which I don’t understand how can appeal to a 2nd grader. As a child, my school field trips were so much fun!

  69. What an awesome place!! Hunter is going to the Bronx Zoo in May for 1st grade. I can’t wait to go with him haha.

  70. That is a really neat place to explore. It’s fun to watch the little kids get excited about the oceans and what’s inside of them.

  71. That stingray tank looks cool! I’m making a “spring bucket list” for our family, so I’m currently browsing your blog for cool places to go!

  72. This looks like a really fun trip you guys took! And it looks like a lot could be learned from this field trip. I don’t blam your kiddo- I wouldn’t want anything to do with anything slimy either!

  73. This is so great! I love going with my children’s classes on field trips. What special memories.

  74. I love fun adventures like this…….. I love when they are learning and dont even notice.

  75. I’m with him on the no-touching. Also, I had to dissect a worm, a frog and then a pig in biology. Nastiness.

  76. That looks like a TON of fun. I don’t blame him for not wanting to touch the dead squid though; I would of been a bit squeamish too!

  77. What a great experience for those kids to learn about the sea creatures. The dissecting part is something I am not sure of…

  78. You go on the most fun field trips with your kids. I know they loved that aquarium.

  79. What a fun field trip!!! Its so cute that your little guy is just like you! Those look slimy!

  80. Oh my gosh I laughing so hysterically over this! I would’ve been sitting right next to you! Everything else looked really cool, especially getting to see shark eggs. That’s a pretty awesome field trip!

  81. What an awesome field trip. We have a Marine biology lab here that our kids go on, and they really enjoy it.

  82. Oh what a fun science field trip you have! Love the pics! How neat that your little guy was able to hold a squid. I love to eat squid 😀

  83. yeah i’m really not one to touch slimy things. I tried feeding a ray before – and…. NOPE couldn’t do it.

  84. I agree with your little guy too. I do NOT like touching (or eating) slimy things!

  85. WOW looks like you guys had a great time. I love reading about all your adventures.

  86. That sounds really neat. I like the idea of 1st graders being able to dissect things. My son would love it..

  87. I had to dissect a squid in marine biology in grade 12 and it was actually pretty neat. Smelled horrible, but was neat. I wouldn’t have stuck my hands in that tiny shark tank either!!

  88. So cool that you could hang with them 🙂

  89. I have got to take my daughter there… she would be grabbing that squishy old squid…lol

  90. I wouldn’t have touched anything either but they are cool to look at!