How do you see to it that your classroom studies are authentic? I'm a fan of immersion. For the past decade my Midwestern Marine Biology class has included a week long field study to the coral reefs and mangrove communities of either The Bahamas or the Florida Keys. This field study is conducted with chartered sailing yachts as a base of operations. This allows the maximum amount of time on and in the water. Many of my students make their first trip to any ocean as a member of this class. In fact, many over the years have even made their first trip aboard an airplane as a result of this study. Whether or not they move on to study marine biology as a career, as surprisingly large percentage actually do, there's no doubt that building rich background knowledge about the world in which we live is an overall win.

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I'm always interested in not only sharing the experiences I create for kids... but also getting feedback from others who are designing non-traditional learning events for students. Please feel free to suggest other online sites to look to for inspiration in the space below...


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Tags: Bahamas, FloridaKeys, MarineBiology, Ning, authentic, biology, coralreefs, fieldstudy, real-world, stjoeh2o2010


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