Ladies and gentlemen, tighten your virtual seat belts, start your computers and rev up your mice. For this whirlwind aquarium tour, we will start with two stops in California, then on to New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. Sorry, no frequent flyer miles will be awarded on this cyber-tour.

Aquariums Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Birch Aquarium Learning Center4 stars

The Scripp's Birch Aquarium Learning Center is a collection of two Web cams (KelpCam and PierCam), animal facts (including an extensive sea horse feature), and my two favorite clicks: Science Spotlights and Online Interactives (a fancy made-up phrase for educational games.) Science Spotlights, for middle school and above, tackles important conservation issues. Don't miss Shifting Baselines, a striking exhibit that illustrates the differences between today's ocean and that of forty years ago.

Monterey Bay Aquarium5 stars

Highlights of the Monterey Bay e-Quarium are the five live Web cams, the Splash Zone (for elementary-age kids), the feature on jelly fish, and the Habitats Path cybertour. First stop on the Habitats Path is the live Kelp Cam, which captures the changing sunlight streaming through the swaying kelp (7 AM to 7 PM, PST.) From here, you can jump to the online games, which include Kelp Habitat Tic-Tac-Toe and Habitat Coloring Pages. For information on a specific animal, try the Online Field Guide (listed under Aquarium Exhibits.)

New York Aquarium: Alien Stingers5 stars

"Stingers - known to scientists as Cnidarians (pronounced 'Ni-dare-ee-ans') - are an ancient and primitive form of life. Stingers include jellies, corals, and anemones. They are the simplest multi-celled animals that have muscles and nerves for movement." This amazing exhibit is beautiful, educational and entertaining. Each chapter includes interactive illustrations or movies; and three interactive quiz games complete the experience.

Oregon Coast Aquarium5 stars

Best clicks are those listed in the blue What's Online menu: Passages of the Deep (three new exhibits created from the tank where Keiko the killer whale lived before he moved to a Norwegian fjord), Seahorse Surreal, Those that Sting (jellyfish) and Sharks vs. Dolphins. "Today, we settle that age-old debate once and for all . . . which are cooler, dolphins or sharks?" You'll need a sense of humor to agree with their conclusion, but in addition to the feature story, this fabulous section includes an online quiz, printable coloring pages and classroom worksheets.

Tennessee Aquarium: Amazing Animals4 stars

The Tennessee Aquarium showcases fresh water ecosystems, and is home to 575 species of amphibians, birds , fish, mammals and reptiles. Learn all about them in this illustrated animal guide. Special seahorse exhibits seem to be everywhere, and Tennessee is no exception. This fun one includes a photo gallery, screensavers, cams, coloring pages and Seahorse-a-scopes. "Peer into the depths of your personality with our Seahorse-a-scopes. Find your birth date on our wheel and click to discover which steed of the deep you are."

Aquariums Resource Handout for Classroom or Homeschool: Just $2.00

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

New England Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Aquariums." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 9 Jul. 2003. Web. 29 Aug. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published July 9, 2003. Last modified July 9, 2003.

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