Florida Springs Manatee Safari –
3 Day Trip

5th – 12th Grade
Swim with the Manatees and Hydrology of Florida Springs
 



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  • Marine Biology at Mote Aquarium
  • Study Hydrology of Florida
  • Swim with Manatee’s in Crystal River
  • Snorkel the Rainbow River
  • Explore Homasassa Springs Wildlife Park
  • Recording Data in Journals

Join us as we head west along Alligator Alley to explore an aquarium research center and exhibits. We will begin to learn about the marine environment and take a behind the scenes tour, learning about valuable ocean research. Next we’ll make a stop at the Pelican Bird Man Sanctuary to observe the rehabilitation facility of many native and exotic birds, before we depart for Crystal River. Next, we’ll stop at the dive shop to fit our wetsuits and snorkel gear for our early morning snorkeling adventure. Prepared, we check-in to our evening accommodations and get ready for dinner. Evening activities include our Native American campfire and ever-popular spirit creature game. It’s early to bed to store our energy for our exciting underwater encounter with the manatees!

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After a hearty breakfast, we depart for the dive boat. While snorkeling, we explore the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and the many springs that provide “winter homes” for the manatees. Manatees, like humans are susceptible to cold and hypothermia and cannot survive for extended periods when water temperatures fall below 68 degrees Fahrenheit; the water in the springs is a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit providing a warm water escape from the cold gulf waters. (All participants snorkeling with manatees will be suited with a complete wetsuit). After our snorkeling trip we meet with naturalists to share and discuss valuable information about the pollutants in this important spring system. For our next adventure, we board a boat, grab our snorkel gear and begin our drift snorkel along the Rainbow River. We explore the local flora and fauna, discuss river ecology, estuary ecology, bird watch and manatee watch as we float along reveling in this unique river experience. After we return, we drive to the local “Manatee Toy Company” dedicated to protecting the endangered West Indian Manatee for some manatee souvenir shopping. Our full day comes to a beautiful close as we visit a local beach to collect shells and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, returning to our accommodations for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

The morning finds us traveling to Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park which offers a showcase of native Florida wildlife and endangered species. The park also serves as a rehabilitation center and refuge for endangered West Indian manatees that have been orphaned, injured in the wild and for manatees that have been born in captivity. The natural spring environment allows them an opportunity to re-acclimate themselves to a more natural environment before they are returned to the wild. Here we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch and then depart for home with a new appreciation for this gentle and endangered mammal.

Florida State Standards following Grades 5-12

Students will:

  1. learn the importance of recording data in a field journal, with an emphasis on the value of each person’s contribution to the total body of scientific observations and the effort to compare and contrast their findings with those of other students
  2. SC.5.N.1.1 Define a problem, use appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigations of various types such as: systematic observations, experiments requiring the identification of variables, collecting and organizing data, interpreting data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.

    SC.5.N.1.6 Recognize and explain the difference between personal opinion/interpretation and verified observation.

    SC.5.N.2.1 Recognize and explain that science is grounded in empirical observations that are testable; explanation must always be linked with evidence.

    SC.6.N.1.1 Define a problem from the sixth grade curriculum, use appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigation of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.

    SC.6.N.1.4 Discuss, compare, and negotiate methods used, results obtained, and explanations among groups of students conducting the same investigation.

    SC.7.N.1.1 Define a problem from the seventh grade curriculum, use appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigation of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.

    SC.7.N.1.6 Explain that empirical evidence is the cumulative body of observations of a natural phenomenon on which scientific explanations are based.

    SC.8.N.1.1 Define a problem from the eighth grade curriculum using appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigations of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.

    SC.8.N.1.6 Understand that scientific investigations involve the collection of relevant empirical evidence, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses, predictions, explanations and models to make sense of the collected evidence.

    SS.8.G.6.2 Illustrate places and events in U.S. history through the use of narratives and graphic representations.

    SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

    SC.912.N.1.6 Describe how scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observations and provide examples from the content being studied.

    SC.912.N.2.4 Explain that scientific knowledge is both durable and robust and open to change. Scientific knowledge can change because it is often examined and re-examined by new investigations and scientific argumentation. Because of these frequent examinations, scientific knowledge becomes stronger, leading to its durability.

  3. learn the importance of conducting water testing, understand density, salinity, temperature, turbidity and pH and how these are measured and compare, and interpret the results of their investigations
  4. SC.5.N.1.3 Recognize and explain the need for repeated experimental trials.

    SC.5.E.7.2 Recognize that the ocean is an integral part of the water cycle and is connected to all of Earth’s water reservoirs via evaporation and precipitation processes.

    SC.8.E.5.10 Assess how technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

    SC.8.N.1.3 Use phrases such as “results support” or “fail to support” in science, understanding that science does not offer conclusive ‘proof’ of a knowledge claim.

    SC.8.N.1.4 Explain how hypotheses are valuable if they lead to further investigations, even if they turn out not to be supported by the data.

    SC.8.P.8.8 Identify basic examples of and compare and classify the properties of compounds, including acids, bases, and salts.

    SC.8.P.9.2 Differentiate between physical changes and chemical changes.

  5. understand how events and personalities in Florida’s history have made an impact on the area , from Native Americans to settlers
  6. SC.8.N.4.2 Explain how political, social, and economic concerns can affect science, and vice versa.

    SS.5.A.2.3 Compare cultural aspects of Native American tribes from different geographic regions of North America including but not limited to clothing, shelter, food, major beliefs and practices, music, art, and interactions with the environment.

    SS.5.A.3.2 Investigate (nationality, sponsoring country, motives, dates and routes of travel, accomplishments) the European explorers.

    SS.5.A.3.3 Describe interactions among Native Americans, Africans, English, French, Dutch, and Spanish for control of North America.

    SS.5.A.4.1 Identify the economic, political and socio-cultural motivation for colonial settlement.

    SS.5.E.2.1 Recognize the positive and negative effects of voluntary trade among Native Americans, European explorers, and colonists.

    SS.6.G.2.6 Explain the concept of cultural diffusion, and identify the influences of different ancient cultures on one another.

    SS.6.G.4.1 Explain how family and ethnic relationships influenced ancient cultures.

    SS.7.G.2.3 Explain how major physical characteristics, natural resources, climate, and absolute and relative location have influenced settlement, economies, and inter-governmental relations in North America.

    SS.8.A.2.5 Discuss the impact of colonial settlement on Native American populations.

  7. understand some characteristics of flora and fauna observed in the springs ecosystem and how they are structurally and functionally similar and different
  8. SC.5.L.14.2 Compare and contrast the function of organs and other physical structures of plants and animals, including humans, for example: some animals have skeletons for support — some with internal skeletons others with exoskeletons — while some plants have stems for support.

    SC.5.L.17.1 Compare and contrast adaptations displayed by animals and plants that enable them to survive in different environments such as life cycles variations, animal behaviors and physical characteristics.

    SC.6.L.15.1 Analyze and describe how and why organisms are classified according to shared characteristics with emphasis on the Linnaean system combined with the concept of Domains.

    SC.912.L.17.6 Compare and contrast the relationships among organisms, including predation, parasitism, competition, commensalism, and mutualism.

  9. learn how a change in ecosystem and other factors can affect an organism’s ability to reproduce and thrive, with specific focus on the manatee
  10. SC.5.L.15.1 Describe how, when the environment changes, differences between individuals allow some plants and animals to survive and reproduce while others die or move to new locations.

    SC.5.N.2.1 Recognize and explain that science is grounded in empirical observations that are testable; explanation must always be linked with evidence.

    SC.7.N.2.1 Identify an instance from the history of science in which scientific knowledge has changed when new evidence or new interpretations are encountered.

    SC.7.L.17.3 Describe and investigate various limiting factors in the local ecosystem and their impact on native populations, including food, shelter, water, space, disease, parasitism, predation, and nesting sites.

    SC.912.L.17.8 Recognize the consequences of the losses of biodiversity due to catastrophic events, climate changes, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.

    SS.5.G.3.1 Describe the impact that past natural events have had on human and physical environments in the United States through 1850.

    SS.6.G.3.2 Analyze the impact of human populations on the ancient world’s ecosystems.

  11. understand the link between decreased water levels in the springs and human consumption of fresh water
  12. SS.5.C.2.5 Identify ways good citizens go beyond basic civic and political responsibilities to improve government and society.

    SS.6.G.3.2 Analyze the impact of human populations on the ancient world’s ecosystems.

    SC.8.N.4.2 Explain how political, social, and economic concerns can affect science, and vice versa.

    SS.8.G.5.1 Describe human dependence on the physical environment and natural resources to satisfy basic needs in local environments in the United States.

    SC.912.L.17.11 Evaluate the costs and benefits of renewable and nonrenewable resources, such as water, energy, fossil fuels, wildlife, and forests.

    SC.912.L.17.12 Discuss the political, social, and environmental consequences of sustainable use of land.

    SC.912.L.17.13 Discuss the need for adequate monitoring of environmental parameters when making policy decisions.

    SC.912.L.17.15 Discuss the effects of technology on environmental quality.

    SC.912.L.17.16 Discuss the large-scale environmental impacts resulting from human activity, including waste spills, oil spills, runoff, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, and surface and groundwater pollution.

    SC.912.L.17.18 Describe how human population size and resource use relate to environmental quality.

    SS.912.C.2.4 Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues that cause the government to balance the interests of individuals with the public good.

    SS.912.C.2.8 Analyze the impact of citizen participation as a means of achieving political and social change.

    SS.912.G.2.5 Use geographic terms and tools to analyze case studies of debates over how human actions modify a selected region.

    SS.912.G.3.3 Use geographic terms and tools to explain differing perspectives on the use of renewable and non-renewable resources in Florida, the United States, and the world.

    SS.912.G.5.2 Analyze case studies of how changes in the physical environment of a place can increase or diminish its capacity to support human activity.

    SS.912.G.5.4 Analyze case studies of how humans impact the diversity and productivity of ecosystems.

  13. learn that organisms living in the fresh water springs thrive there because of its unique qualities, which include a constant temperature
  14. SC.5.L.14.2 Compare and contrast the function of organs and other physical structures of plants and animals, including humans, for example: some animals have skeletons for support — some with internal skeletons others with exoskeletons — while some plants have stems for support.

    SC.5.L.17.1 Compare and contrast adaptations displayed by animals and plants that enable them to survive in different environments such as life cycles variations, animal behaviors and physical characteristics.

    SC.6.L.15.1 Analyze and describe how and why organisms are classified according to shared characteristics with emphasis on the Linnaean system combined with the concept of Domains.

    SC.7.L.16.1 Understand and explain that every organism requires a set of instructions that specifies its traits, that this hereditary information (DNA) contains genes located in the chromosomes of each cell, and that heredity is the passage of these instructions from one generation to another.

    SC.7.L.15.2 Explore the scientific theory of evolution by recognizing and explaining ways in which genetic variation and environmental factors contribute to evolution by natural selection and diversity of organisms.

    SC.7.L.15.3 Explore the scientific theory of evolution by relating how the inability of a species to adapt within a changing environment may contribute to the extinction of that species.

    SC.912.L.15.7 Discuss distinguishing characteristics of vertebrate and representative invertebrate phyla, and chordate classes using typical examples.

    SC.912.L.17.6 Compare and contrast the relationships among organisms, including predation, parasitism, competition, commensalism, and mutualism.

    SC.912.L.17.7 Characterize the biotic and abiotic components that define freshwater systems, marine systems and terrestrial systems.

  15. understand what influences the water cycle in South Florida and how this relates both to them and the bigger picture
  16. SC.7.E.6.6 Identify the impact that humans have had on Earth, such as deforestation, urbanization, desertification, erosion, air and water quality, changing the flow of water.

    SC.8.N.4.1 Explain that science is one of the processes that can be used to inform decision making at the community, state, national, and international levels.

    SS.8.G.5.1 Describe human dependence on the physical environment and natural resources to satisfy basic needs in local environments in the United States.

    SS.8.G.5.2 Describe the impact of human modifications on the physical environment and ecosystems of the United States throughout history.

    SC.912.E.7.8 Explain how various atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic conditions in Florida have influenced and can influence human behavior, both individually and collectively.

    SC.912.L.17.11 Evaluate the costs and benefits of renewable and nonrenewable resources, such as water, energy, fossil fuels, wildlife, and forests.

  17. learn the basic features of Karst topography- how they are formed and how to recognize them
  18. SC.6.E.6.1 Describe and give examples of ways in which Earth’s surface is built up and torn down by physical and chemical weathering, erosion, and deposition.

    SC.6.E.6.2 Recognize that there are a variety of different landforms on Earth’s surface such as coastlines, dunes, rivers, mountains, glaciers, deltas, and lakes and relate these landforms as they apply to Florida.

    SC.7.E.6.2 Identify the patterns within the rock cycle and relate them to surface events (weathering and erosion) and sub-surface events (plate tectonics and mountain building).

    SC.912.E.6.2 Connect surface features to surface processes that are responsible for their formation.

    SC.912.E.6.4 Analyze how specific geologic processes and features are expressed in Florida and elsewhere.

    SC.912.E.6.5 Describe the geologic development of the present day oceans and identify commonly found features.

Pricing:

  • $485.00 per student
  • Based on a minimum of 36 students and a maximum of 48 students
  • Based on Broward county departure
  • Includes coach transportation, instruction, equipment, lodging and meals