Explore the phases of water with hands-on experiments using our Properties of Water suitcase or examine squid beaks to learn about how animals have changed to be better suited to their environment in the Animal Adaptations suitcase. Compare replica skulls to learn about the differences between omnivores and carnivores in our Food Webs suitcase or journey alongside a sea turtle from egg to adult in the Sea Turtle Science suitcase.

Rental Fees

$30.00 rental fee for 2-week period (per suitcase)

  • Renter must coordinate pick-up date, time, and checkout process with School & Youth Programs Specialist
  • Suitcases are available for pick-up and drop-off 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Please bring copy of confirmation letter and photo ID at time of pick up
  • Payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your rental date via check, cash, or credit card; if booked with less than a month's notice, payment for your rental is due at the time of booking.

$80.00 rental fee for 2-week period (per suitcase)

  • Includes prearranged shipping of suitcase to and from your school via Fed Ex ground
  • Return shipping label is included in suitcase
  • Renter is responsible for repackaging suitcase and affixing shipping label to the exterior before return shipping the suitcase
  • Payment is due 30 days prior to the start of your rental date via check, cash, or credit card; if booked with less than a month's notice, payment for your rental is due at the time of booking.

Ready to reserve your Suitcase Science Kit?

1. After you have read through the descriptions below, use the application link to download the Suitcase Science application.

2. Please mail, fax, or email your completed application to the Outreach Coordinator.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Attn: Outreach Coordinator
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Fax: (757) 437-4976
Email: scruz@virginiaaquarium.com

3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail indicating the date, time, and location of shipping or pick-up of your Suitcase Science rental.
Please bring a copy of this e-mail with a photo ID when picking up your suitcase.

*For questions about suitcase content or availability, please contact the Outreach Coordinator.

Life Cycles

Metamorphosis and life cycle sequencing
Grades K-3

This suitcase offers a variety of activities and games focusing on the life cycle sequence of terrestrial and marine animals. Metamorphosis is a key concept highlighted in this kit using the classic example of the caterpillar turning into the Monarch butterfly.

Science SOLs: K.1, K.4, K.6, K.7, K.9, K.10, 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10

Properties of Water

Properties of water, the water cycle, and water conservation
Grades K-4

Students explore and play with water to learn about one of Earth's important resources. Hands-on water activities and supplies are provided in this kit. Topics that are covered include the three states of water, the hydrological cycle, and water conservation.

Science SOLs: K.1, K.2, K.4, K.5, K.9, K.10, K.11, 1.1, 1.3, 1.8, 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 3.3, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11, 4.1, 4.6, 4.9

Animal Adaptations

Animal adaptations for feeding and defense
Grades 1-6

Peer through the microscope at plants, animals, and cells already provided for you and your students. This extensive resource allows hands-on learning using our real animal biofacts, animal adaptation games, books to read and films to watch.

Science SOLs: 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.10, 4.1, 4.5, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.7

Food Webs

Predator-prey relationships, food webs, and feeding adaptations
Grades 1-5

Explore replicated predator skulls to discover their physical adaptations for hunting and feeding. Get tangled in a marine or terrestrial food web, play a fun food web card game, and use animal models to go in depth with feeding adaptations.

Science SOLs: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.10, 3.11, 4.1, 4.5, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6

Sea Turtle Science

Sea turtle life history, research, and conservation issues
Grades K-12

Explore sea turtles in this dynamic suitcase filled with lessons on anatomy, habitats, food webs, life cycles, and conservation. Students will touch a sea turtle shell, observe feeding adaptations with replica skulls and play the role of a scientist while performing a mock stranding response and stomach content analysis.

Science SOLs: K.1, K.4, K.6-7, K.10-11, 1.1, 1.5, 1.8, 2.1, 2.4-5, 3.1, 3.4, 3.6, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.5, 4.9, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6, 6.1, 6.7, LS.1, LS.4, LS.6, LS.8-11, BIO.1, BIO.6-8, ES.1, PS.1, PS.7

Climate Science

Weather and climate systems, impacts and solutions for a changing climate
Grades 4-12

Students will build foundational knowledge on how the climate system works and the role carbon plays. ​They will explore ways a changing climate is impacting Earth and what steps they can take to adapt to those changes.

Science SOLs: 4.1-2, 4.6, 4.8-9, 5.1, 5.6, 6.1-3, 6.5-6, 6.8, LS.1, LS.5-6, LS.9-11, BIO.8, CH.1, CH.3, CH.4, CH.6, ES.1, ES.6, ES.10-12, PS.1, PS.5-7, PS.11, PH.1, PH.4, PH. 6-7​

The grade levels listed for each suitcase kit is just a recommendation and kits can be adapted for younger or older grades.