Educational Goals

In the aquarium, visitors will come face-to-face with marine and other animals. During a fun and educational presentation, they will learn about the animals' remarkable range of behaviors, their intelligence and quick learning ability, and their amazing physiology.

During their visit, people will also be introduced to the fascinating and complex relationship between earth, sea and space. Dramatic exhibits will show how our "water world" is at the heart of a timeless dynamic that continuously shapes our earth. Satellite technology, space exploration, weather, geology -- each one plays a role in the health of our oceans, lakes and streams, and the planet itself. Why they are important will be explored through interactive exhibits and programs.

Visitors will also tour the research facility of the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and will discover the Seacoast's maritime heritage through displays on fishing, lobstering, shipbuilding and submarines.

Before leaving, visitors will enjoy the gift shop, sign up for programs and membership packages, and discover other fun and educational options provided via co-promotions with neighboring attractions.

Like other museums, our Earth, Ocean, Space Museum will offer in-house classes and seminars, programs for schools, pre-schoolers and seniors, traveling outreach efforts, and partnerships with local schools and educational facilities.

Satellite hook-ups will bring the museum's marine knowledge and UNH's research into classrooms locally, regionally and around the world. All of these efforts will increase the academic opportunities for thousands of students, while presenting UNH as a premier research and educational institution.

Our seacoast, rivers, and lakes are precious and irreplaceable. It is our hope to extend awareness and understanding of the earth's environments, and the connection between humans and aquatic places.

Educational Partnerships

Our goal is to collaborate with other science and nature education programs in the Seacoast area and beyond. We believe such a collaboration will benefit all parties. Here is an overview of some of these partnerships.

University of New Hampshire

Professors from key departments at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have been involved in brainstorming plans for the Earth, Sea and Space center since day one. The project is seen as ripe with possibilities for collaborative research and educational outreach, and with many benefits to students.

UNH Marine Program

The aquarium portion of the Center can offer many opportunities for UNH marine researchers thanks to its large-scale tanks, range of species, and ability to recreate habitat. The extensive lab planned for the Center can also be an asset to the University’s Marine Program, affording critical research and hands-on learning opportunities for both faculty and students. We believe that these opportunities will provide a tremendous boost to UNH in recruiting students interested in marine science and aquarium science. The Center will also offer numerous internships in many disciplines. Many UNH undergraduates dream of working at an aquarium or other science education facility. Through internships, they will have the opportunity to experience this firsthand at the Center, while contributing useful services.

UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space

UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS) will also be connected to the Earth, Sea and Space Center. Additional science exhibit areas, which will look at topics such as climate, weather, currents, soils, ice cores, and the like, can be of benefit to EOS in terms of research and educational outreach. Professors from EOS are excited about the possibilities which could be developed. EOS is an internationally recognized center for the development of satellite remote sensing techniques, as applied to land and oceans. They are also affiliated with Dartmouth College, and collaborate directly with NASA on many projects. This knowledge, and these connections, can help bring unique learning opportunities to the Earth, Sea and Space Center.

The Center’s goals follow a global view, as EOS does. The Center will look at the role of the ocean and its relationship to weather, climate, terrestrial and marine studies. Programs, projects, and exhibits at the Center can help with educational outreach to grades K-12, and also draw attention to EOS’s efforts.

Through NASA’s Space Grant program, EOS has a major goal of enhancing math, science and technology education at all school levels (K-12), as well as in informal educational settings. EOS facilities are involved in numerous educational outreach efforts to stimulate interest in these subjects among both students and the general public. The Center will provide an additional venue for these efforts, and allow broader educational options for students of all ages.

New Hampshire Sea Grant College Program

The New Hampshire Sea Grant College Program, based at UNH, is also a potentially valuable partner with the Center. NH Sea Grant offers extensive training programs for teachers, and these programs could benefit from collaborations with the Center. A Sea Grant/Earth, Sea and Space Center partnership could also provide many more hands-on learning opportunities than Sea Grant alone can offer. Sea Grant’s experienced education staff will be a valuable resource to Center staff in program planning for the general public, K-12, youth audiences, educators, and other stakeholders. Sea Grant personnel are also experienced in developing expanded relationships between museum educators, researchers, and scientists so that the strongest educational programming is offered.

As our exhibits, programs and research plans are developed, we look forward to continued input from the UNH Marine Program, EOS and the New Hampshire Sea Grant College Program.

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and NASA

Thanks to Dr. Clyde Roper, international giant squid expert, TV documentary star, and researcher emeritus at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, we have received guidance in all phases of planning and developing our Center from faculty at SMNH and NASA. Also thanks to Dr. Roper, we have already formed relationships with top SMNH researchers and scientists. This has led to incredible educational opportunities as these scientists have been happy to share their knowledge through a series of public lectures here on the Seacoast. We look forward to continued guidance from those at SMNH and NASA as we develop our exhibits and programs, and are excited about their role in our educational outreach efforts.

Other Local Partnerships

We have already worked cooperatively with several local educational facilities on programs and other outreach efforts. The Great Bay Discovery Center, a nature education facility on Great Bay in Stratham, NH, and The Children’s Museum of Portsmouth, have already partnered with us on educational programs and events. We look forward to continuing these types of joint efforts, and to extending them to other educational venues in the region, and around the state.

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