First graders have begun their in-depth studies of sea animals, which will conclude at the end of the school year with a presentation of their projects and essays. As a special experience to help reinforce the learning for this subject, students took a special study trip to Marineland, south of St. Augustine.
The exceptional trip included a private behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium's exhibits as well as lessons on dolphin anatomy and conservation efforts. Students saw new exhibits with animals native to the Southeast region of the United States, and learned the importance of the Gulf Stream, ecosystems, and conservation. The first graders also discovered facts about invasive species and their effects on aquatic populations along the eastern seaboard, such as lion fish, green moray eels, jellyfish and lobsters.
Students especially enjoyed an up-close encounter with the dolphins, learning their names, ages, and how the trainers and biologists are able to identify each one.
The tour also offered an exclusive backstage look at the facility and an opportunity to explore the unique and fascinating history spanning over 75 years from its beginnings as an underwater film studio.
Following a picnic lunch, students also enjoyed a playtime visit to the beach!