Aquarius Academy launches at FIU

Teachers snorkeling over FIU's Aquarius Reef Base
Teachers snorkeling over Aquarius Reef Base

With the launch of Aquarius Academy, 6-12 students everywhere can splash down to FIU’s Aquarius Reef Base – the world’s only undersea research laboratory.

Consisting of a range of experiences, the academy is built around standards-based activities that provide authentic learning opportunities for audiences. Focused on core scientific concepts, students and teachers across the globe engage in project-based learning built around Aquarius.

Utilizing a submersible pressure gauge chamber, teachers observed changes in pressure in real-time
Observing changes in pressure using a submersible pressure gauge chamber

The mission of the academy is to empower the next generation of ocean explorers, future STEM professionals and stewards of the marine environment. Its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) lessons feature cross-cutting activities which incorporate art and design, language arts, history, social impacts and economics. The content is specifically geared to provide practical applications that support the Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and state science standards.

For example, lessons like Designing an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) allow students to explore the engineering principles used in underwater robot design. It relates these principles to aquatic animal locomotion which connects to other concepts learned and provides a foundation for creativity when developing their own AUV. This interdisciplinary approach helps students of varied interests engage with science topics in a meaningful way.

Teachers on snorkeling trip over FIU's Aquarius Reef Base as part of a professional development training.
Teachers on a snorkeling trip as part of a professional development training

As part of the academy, students can connect with researchers and engage with Aquarius aquanauts through in-person classroom visits and live underwater virtual field trips. Teachers also have access to professional development activities and resources including virtual training on the deployment of lessons and activities, aligned PowerPoint presentations and access to scientific research publications and datasets.

In addition, two different professional development trainings in the Keys give teachers an immersive experience with unique lessons and activities centered around the Aquarius Academy curriculum. For information, visit or contact