- May 18, 2016
It’s time for adults to dip their toes into the marine science world at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
Mote, which already offers education opportunities for children through summer camps and other events, is ready to expand those efforts to adults outside of volunteering.
Starting in January, Mote will launch “Endless Oceans: Marine Science 101” for adults aged 18 and up.
“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, and there’s been a lot of interest as our education program has really grown over the years,” said Kayla Keyes, a marine science educator at Mote. “A lot of adults have become interested in this, and we know there is a huge market for it in the area.”
So, Mote staff thought now was the time to continue the lifelong learning movement.
The course will offer 10 comprehensive marine sciences classes between the beginning and intermediate levels. Students don’t need to have any background knowledge of marine science to participate. Participants can register for the entire semester or individual classes.
“Hopefully in the future, we’ll offer more in-depth classes for different levels of experience, but for now we’re just focusing on getting the ball rolling with an introduction class,” Keyes said.
The classes will be taught by Mote education staff, and each class will also feature an expert in the class topic. Class topics range from Florida coastal habitats to climate change and conservation. Class doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for students to partake in “Coffee Connections” where they can meet peers to discuss the reading material and ask questions. Classes will begin at 9 a.m.
Each lesson will include required pre-course reading to provide a base for the class subject. Those who enroll in the full semester will be required to do a research project.
Students can do the project on any topic of their choosing, hopefully one that relates to the courses, Keyes said, and can either write a research paper or participate in a community engagement project. Students will be given feedback following the final presentation March 12.
“We’ll do a peer review and give feedback,” Keyes said. “It’s really about collaborative learning ... because with adult learners we have to make it relevant to them because everybody is going to have different background knowledge that they’re bringing to class.”
Keyes said she hopes to make a creative and fun learning environment through the course. She wants to “break the mold and incorporate all learning styles into this program.”
Instead of students being lectured the entire class time, Keyes said students will get hands-on experiences. Class structure will vary, but they will primarily include classroom lectures, science demonstrations and interactive activities. Thirty minutes of each class will feature a Mote researcher who will share his or her work with the students. After-class activities, such as dissections, lab tours and field samplings, will be offered each day, too.
“I hope that they get a greater understanding of our oceans, especially since we are located right next to them,” Keyes said. “It’s important to understand the role we play and to empower learning and engage these conversation about science and marine environments …”
Classes are $30 for members and volunteers and $35 for nonmembers. A full semester is $225 for members and $275 for nonmembers. A class schedule and registration information can be found at mote.org/lifelonglearning.