Classes We Offer

The Barrier Island Environmental Education Program offers over 40 different classes to meet the needs of your students. We have divided them by time into one and two hour classes and evening classes.

One-Hour Classes

Human Impact

How can magnifying glasses, earthworms and chocolate chips teach students about energy, renewable and non-renewable resources, recycling and composting? Sign up for Human Impact to find out! In addition, students will learn how plants and animals become in danger of extinction, how to help with the problem, and how all species are important to us.

Marine Mammal Madness

Students will primarily learn about Bottlenose Dolphins of the South Carolina coast.  The class begins inside, playing educational games and learning more about marine mammals in general and dolphins in particular; then we end the class on the beach, looking for dolphins in the estuary.  The class focuses on: dolphin physiology, marine mammal endangered species, and dolphin conservation efforts.  After this class students will have a good understanding of why these animals are so special and deserve our conservation efforts.


Offered in the Fall and Spring
A hand held seine net is used to collect estuary life like fish, shellfish, and jellyfish from our beach.  Groups work together to pull the net through the surf to catch animals.  Topics include fish physiology, adaptations, feeding habits, tidal movements, and population fluctuations.


Often overlooked, insects and other arthropods provide us with easily accessible animals to look at, while in the process of investigating their niche in the ecosystem. This class covers life cycles, adaptations, and relationships to similar groups of animals.  This class is often paired with Pondering Life, since a lot of the animals found in the pond are also arthropods.  Students use sweep nets to catch insects.


Pondering Life

Fresh Water Ecology
This class deals with the natural and chemical components of the pond community.  During class, students use nets to take samples from a fresh water pond,  and they identify pond species.  Included are studies of fish, insect larvae, algae, water plants, and other organisms.


What is the fastest shark?  What is the biggest shark?  How are sharks like metal detectors?  Come to this class to have all of your sharks questions answered.  Find out why sharks are such incredible fish.  Learn why sharks aren’t so scary and why they are great to have around!

It Skinks

Reptiles and Amphibians
This class covers similarities and differences between Reptiles and Amphibians, the basic physiology of both groups and then specific details of groups like frogs/toad/salamanders, venomous/non-venomous snakes, tortoises/terrapins/sea turtles, alligators/crocodiles.  During class, we will bring out specific animals for the students to study in detail by touching or holding them.  No, there are no venomous snakes in the classroom.  Yes, the students will get to touch an alligator!

Lost and Found

This class will introduce students to orienteering.   The use of a compass and the recognition of environment are skills that will be taught.  Students will be given a compass and their job is to follow the clues (which contain several riddles to cement their learning from other classes at Barrier Island) to the buried treasure.



Animal Tracking
This class deals with animal habitats, behaviors, and adaptations.  Students are asked to determine behavior and habitats of animals by examining their tracks.  Some tracks investigated may be deer, fox, bobcat, raccoon, birds and more.  Preserved animal parts are used for hands-on learning.

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Dig

All about Sea Turtles
In this class, students learn about the life cycle of the Loggerhead Sea Turtle and the role of the Turtle Patrol.  The students may even get to go out on the beach to find and relocate a (model of a) turtle nest.  During Turtle season, the students may be lucky enough to see a real nest or site.

Scales and Tails

(offered in the winter as the indoor version of Seining)
Study of Fish
Explore our Aquarium and see what strange adaptations fish can have.  Students will have an opportunity to understand more about anadromous fishes, schooling, feeding habits, fish antifreeze and life in a weightless environment.  Each fish species has certain physical characteristics that give us insight into the niche the fish has in the ecosystem.  We will give students the opportunity to learn these key characteristics and then put them into practice while observing the many species we have in our aquarium.

Wings & Things

Bird Life
With the use of binoculars and preserved bird parts (wings, skulls, feet, etc.) students learn about bird habitats, adaptations, behavior, migration, flocking, and nesting.   The beach and forest environments may be visited.


Learning About the Forest
March through our maritime forest investigating an array of plants and animals. Also, learn some history of the growth and development of the maritime forest while experiencing it first-hand.
Two-Hour Classes
Evening Classes