General TRC Information

What is a Great Lakes Aquarium teaching kit? 

A Great Lakes Aquarium Teaching Kit comes with almost everything you will need to teach a pre-designed lesson in your classroom. The kit includes a lesson plan aligned to MN State Standards, materials to run most activities, and background information. Some lessons require consumable materials like paper cups or beads; these materials may not be included in the kit.

The Great Lakes Aquarium Resource Center also houses tools for teaching from the DNR MinnAqua Program’s Fishing: Get in the Habitat! Leader’s Guide. These kits also contain lessons aligned to MN State Standards, materials to run most activities, and background information.

How do I use Great Lakes Aquarium’s teaching kits?

Each kit comes with setup instructions and lesson plans, but feel free to improvise. Use these kits in the classroom, outdoors, at your science fair, or even on a field trip to the Aquarium (Need some ideas? Check out our guide for using kits on the exhibit floor.)

What is Great Lakes Aquarium curriculum?

Great Lakes Aquarium Curriculum is a library of lesson plans that have been written or adapted by educators and scientists. These lesson plans are aligned to MN Science Standards; some are aligned to MN Art and Social Studies Standards, as well. These lessons do not correlate to a kit in our Resource Library, so teachers are responsible for materials to run the lessons.

What will I find in the books and equipment section? 

Great Lakes Aquarium’s Resource Center has books to help you learn background information, curriculum guides to help you design lessons, and children’s books to use in your classroom.

The Resource Center also has DVDs to use in the classroom, CDs with information and curriculum, and more! You are welcome to check these resources out or spend an afternoon planning in the Resource Library.

How many items can I check out of the Resource Center at one time?

You may check out up to two kits and up to four books at one time from the Great Lakes Aquarium Resource Center.

How long may I keep items checked out from the Resource Center?

Great Lakes Aquarium’s resources may be checked out for two weeks at a time. MinnAqua’s resources may be checked out for one week at a time; MinnAqua resources are clearly labeled. Late items will be charged a late fee. If items are not returned within six months of the due date, the price of replacement will be charged to the borrower.

For more information, contact Larissa Giebner at or (218) 740-2025.