We are closed to the public through April 30.
Two teens dissect the stomach of a fish, looking to see what it's been eating.
A teen working on a fish dissection places a thin slice into a microscope to look at up close.

Learning Labs are inquiry-based lab programs in which students gain skills in scientific methods, collaboration, communication, teamwork and more. Learning Labs can take place at Shedd Aquarium or at a school.

What to expect

  • Students work in small groups using dissection tools to perform a guided fish necropsy
  • Students collect data on physical conditions of their fish using microscopes and other laboratory equipment
  • Teachers and chaperones may participate
  • Students analyze and discuss their data

Key concepts: adaptations, physiology, anatomy, pathology, animal health, STEM Careers

Skills: scientific investigation and method, collaboration and communication, inquiry, qualitative and quantitative data collection


Program includes: 

  • Use of tools like scissors, forceps, tablets, and microscopes
  • Use of stairs; elevators are available
  • Work taking place at standard tables with chairs provided
  • Moving short distances
  • The learning environment as part of this lesson may include the following sensory triggers: unusual noises-which may be loud, low or moderate; changes in lighting; unusual smells; touch sensitivity due the use of tight-fitting gloves; and, participants may get wet or dirty.

We believe there should be no boundaries to your Shedd Aquarium experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please contact us at [email protected] or 312-939-2438. We look forward to assisting you.

Learn more about Accessibility at Shedd

Labs at Your School

New this year. Have Shedd Educators come to your school to facilitate a Learning Lab program. These programs are available three days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!

Read More , on the Labs at Your School page


Next Generation Science Standards: HS-LS2-8.

Common Core Standards: WHST.9-12.7, RST.1 1-12.7.


Download Exploring Pathology: Fish Dissection Learning Lab Guide


Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Class Size

Up to 30 students


90 minutes


$125 per program


This project was made possible in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.