FinFish Hatchery: Objectives | Facility | Aquaculture | Classroom | Outreach | Projects | Links


Aquaculture: Raising Saltwater Fish in the Classroom overview

MIT Sea Grant has developed a two-volume high school curriculum about aquaculture, which includes both a teacher edition and student handbook. Most classroom aquaculture programs start with larger fish, but this curriculum begins the process earlier by teaching students about hatcheries—an important piece in the aquaculture puzzle. The curriculum uses MIT's Marine Finfish Hatchery as a model and provides step-by-step information on how to build and maintain a hatchery, raise food for larvae, care for fish, and maintain water quality.

Download an MSWord overview of how aquaculture can meet Massachusetts curriculum standards for science, technology/engineering and mathematics).


Aquaculture in the Classroom, participating classrooms, 2004-2005 academic year

Summer Aquaculture Technician Training Program: An MIT Sea Grant College Program collaboration with Odyssey High at South Boston
Odyssey High School was created in 2002 when South Boston High was divided up into three small learning communities. This restructuring allows each school within the building to have its own focus. Odysseys focus is on environmental science. Aquaculture has been integrated into the 10th grade biology course as a hands-on subject area in which students learn about species, evolution, cellular development, water quality, cycles and anatomy.

To see more on the Odyssey School, please visit their school web site:

Check out a presentation created by Odyssey School students about their experience:

Essex Agricultural High School
Essex Ag specializes in plant, animal and environmental science. The Environmental Science Program is a three-year major that runs from the sophomore year to the senior year. It is designed for those who plan to pursue their studies beyond high school. The sophomore concentration focuses on inland waters and wetlands. The junior year focuses on Marine Sciences. Seniors prepare for the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science Exam. Expeditionary Learning is an integral part of the program. Expeditions are designed around specific topics or themes related to the curriculum and are used to amplify classroom instruction.
Along with the expeditions, students are engaged in hands-on projects to gain skills used in the fields of environmental science.

The Fish Barn on campus is home to the Environmental Science department aquatic projects. These projects include: red bellied turtles (sophomore), winter flounder (junior) and large mouth bass (senior). MIT Sea Grant has assisted with the junior and senior projects by developing recirculating systems, providing fish, and giving ongoing support to teachers and students.

To find out more about their program, visit:

Swampscott Middle School
Swampscott Middle School’s 7th grade students have been raising salmon and tide pool creatures for years. In 2003, they expanded their program to work with MIT Sea Grant. Using a recirculating system in their aquatic area, students reared winter flounder and studied substrates and behavior of the fish.

John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science
The John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science provides a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that includes a challenging math and science program. The O’Bryant community enables the diverse student body to acquire the skills, knowledge, and work ethic that provide opportunities for students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens in a changing society.
MIT Sea Grant is involved with the biology class by assisting in tank set up and research with large mouth bass.

To find out more about their program, visit:


We are currently considering holding workshops for teachers interested teachers in using this curriculum in their classrooms.

For more information please contact Brandy M.M. Wilbur, Aquaculture Specialist, at (978)283-6275 or