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March 2011 Archives

Want to spice up your science lessons? Want to enrich students with engaging science content and process skills in the classroom, on the beach, and in the lab?  If yes, then enroll in SeaCamp's Teachers' workshop in tropical marine ecology and literally get immersed in marine science education.

Mangrove habitats surround the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, SeaCamp.

Each year, for four days in February during the President's weekend, The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Big Pine Key, offers teachers and college students an intensive and fun-filled workshop. The curriculum is rich, the teaching styles are diversified, and the approach is a total-body learning experience. 

Program topics included Florida's geology, coral reef and turtle grass ecology, invertebrate zoology, and phycology, which is the study of sea plants. During the day you'll feel like an adventurous 12 year-old camper: bunk beds, family-style dining, and scheduled activities such as boating, snorkeling, lectures and labs.  

Snorkeling over colorful reef fishes, mangroves, and sponge beds will reveal the variety of unique habitats.  Coral reefs, like underwater cities, have day and night shifts that help reduce competition for resources.  Enjoy kayaking over shallow turtle grasses and calcareous alga that house a multitude of invertebrates such as shame face crabs, shrimp, and brittle sea stars. 

The evening agenda consisted of identifying sea plants, plankton, and invertebrates, as well as attending a selection of interactive lectures on bioluminescence, nocturnal adaptations, animal behavior, shark biology, and squid dissections. The college students were particularly ambitious: evening extracurricular activities included conducting a "population inventory" of the local bar, and  "sampling" the pH of margaritas! When asked what were the benefits of attending this workshop as science education interns, they quickly referred to the valuable hands-on experiences, seeing different teaching styles in a non-traditional setting, and expanding their perceptions of careers in education.

Middle school teachers were inspired to integrate ocean studies into both the physical and life sciences, and to develop lab activities with smaller clusters of students.

All teaching levels...pre-service, in-service, or just marine science enthusiasts... benefited from this exploratory workshop. The registration fee is $300 for room, board, instruction and field trips. Participants receive a certificate for 21 hours of service credit.
For younger learners, SeaCamp offers programs for elementary to high school students during the summer and intersession.#

For more information, contact Chuck Brand, Director of Marketing, SeaCamp Association, Inc., Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, 1300 Big Pine Key, FL 33043, Ph: Toll free: 1-877-732-2267, Email: info@nhmi.org, Website:www.nhmi.org

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