Students in a new Tallahassee Museum conservation summer camp will take their classroom on the road and into the waters of the Florida Keys during a week-long AP-aligned course in marine biology and environmental science.
The Museum’s “Taking the State” Conservation Camp, July 6-12, is open to rising 10th-12th graders and will include four days at Key Largo’s MarineLab, as well as stops at Zoo Miami and Tampa’s Florida Aquarium.
“Research shows that students who engage in hands-on science develop a deeper understanding of the material and do better on tests,” said Natasha Hartsfield, the museum’s director of education. “Learning by doing enhances critical thinking, creativity and logic, while teaching students to rely on evidence and think independently. Studies also show that it increases student motivation, which is not surprising because it’s fun and engaging.”
Campers will leave Tallahassee July 6 and spend the night at Florida Gulf Coast University’s student housing, arriving the next day in Key Largo, where they will study nearshore marine ecology at MarineLab through activities that include daily boating and swimming. MarineLab teaching staff hold degrees in marine biology, environmental science and biology and offer customized education programs to 4,000 students and teachers a year. Facilities include dorm rooms, labs, a cafeteria and a floating conference center. The location in Key Largo, an a hour south of Miami, offers quick access to the coral reefs of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Florida Bay in Everglades National Park.
On the way back to Tallahassee campers will get a behind-the-scenes lesson on the palm oil industry at Zoo Miami and spend the night at the Florida Aquarium.