The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program has played a major role in introducing wild dolphin conservation into Sarasota, Florida elementary schools. Now in its fourth year of availability to Sarasota County Public Schools’ teachers and students, the Curriculum Guide for Sarasota County Schools “Sarasota Dolphin Conservation Lessons” is a valuable resource for elementary and middle school classrooms. This curricular supplement addresses problems our local dolphin population faces, both man-made and natural, and emphasizes conservation and “best practices” for human/dolphin interaction or proximity issues.
Combining teacher-directed lessons with short videos featuring “dolphin cam” (the underwater view from the dolphin’s perspective) and hands-on activities, this curriculum has proven to be a popular addition for classroom conservation and biology studies. In the past two years, over two thousand students in grades K-5 have been exposed to these lessons, videos, and activities, and the feedback from teachers has overwhelmingly been positive.
During the current school year, we’re looking forward to having even more students being exposed to this curriculum package. It is our sincere hope that, by exposing Sarasota’s youth to marine conservation issues, Sarasota’s waters can continue to be a sustainable place for the safety and future well-being of our area’s marine mammals. It’s never too early to start learning about what we can do to conserve and protect our area’s natural resources!
The curriculum is available as a download at www.sarasotadolphin.org/sources-of-information/videos.
This article appeared on page 29 of the 2017 SDRP Annual Report, Nicks n Notches.