Off-Campus Field Trip

Provider: Carefree Learner

Contact: Megan Ehlers
(941) 955-0181 ext. 64652

Starting cost per student: $10

Additional Info: Trips and transportation are free for middle school students in a life science course (7th grade).

Max. Capacity: 25

Transportation Needed?  Yes

Who Arranges Transportation? Teacher

Is Financial Assistance Offered?  Yes


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After an overview of safety procedures at the dock, the Carefree Learner heads out onto Sarasota Bay. Once over the seagrass beds, an otter trawl net is deployed to collect organisms. Students search through bins loaded with sponges, seaweed, and a variety of animals. Sponges are searched for invertebrates, and animals are placed in the centrally located aquariums for observation and discussion later on in the trip.

With the sponges released back into the bay to regenerate, we start making our way to the Robert’s Bay Bird Rookery, one of Florida’s most successful breeding colonies. Depending on the time of year students can observe mating behaviors, nest building, feeding, and juveniles of a variety of native bird species.

As we make our way back to the dock, the instructor fishes out the various animals we collected from the aquariums for discussion. Species’ roles and relationships, defensive adaptations, reproductive methods, feeding, and habitat is discussed in detail. The CFL then makes her way into Hudson Bayou to review the ecological importance of mangrove and seagrasses to Florida (erosion, fisheries, etc.).

During the final activity students return the organisms back into the bay to the area they were originally collected.


SC.6.L.14.4, SC.8.L.18.1 (Assessed as SC.8.L.18.4), SC.7.L.15.2 (Also assesses SC.7.L.15.1 and SC.7.L.15.3), SC.6.L.14.1,4, SC.7.L.17.1 (Assessed as SC.7.L.17.2), SC.7.L.17.2 , SC.7.L.17.3 (Assessed as SC.7.L.17.2),

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