Open 9 pm - 6 pm
Temporarily closed but virtual programs are still open!
Kids in a squid dissection course put thin slices of skin onto microscope slides 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 pairs using dissection tools to explore squid anatomy
  • Students generate their own questions and pursue investigations to answer them
  • Teacher and chaperones may participate
  • Students present their findings to each other

Key concepts: adaptations, predator/prey relationships, anatomy, ocean habitat, STEM Careers
inquiry, scientific investigation, collaboration and communication


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.
  • Viewing a tablet screen with videos and images.

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.

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: 3-LS4-3, 4-LS1-1, MS-LS2-1, MS-LS2-2.



Download the  Squid Dissection Learning Lab Guide

Allergy Notice: The Squid Dissection Learning Lab includes close interaction with squid, including, but not limited to: handling squid with gloves, interacting with squid fluids in a laboratory setting, and being in a room where the smell of seafood is apparent. Squid are considered shellfish and participants who have a shellfish allergy should be aware of this type of interaction. For questions about this lab and allergies, please contact [email protected].


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.