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Underwater Adventure Prepares Students for the Future

On Monday, April 19, Dr. Phil Larsen, professor of education and chair of the division of education, took his Methods of Teaching Elementary Science class on a field trip to the Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota. The students put into practice the teaching techniques that they are learning at CCC through active participation in preparing field trips for elementary classes. More than just a field trip, Dr. Larsen gave the class an assignment to create a Scavenger Hunt appropriate for an elementary excursion.

Junior Elementary Education major Shea Burris was a participant in the science field trip. “We split up into groups of two or three and set out to explore the aquarium. My group started in the Fish section and walked around taking pictures and creating questions that we would ask the kids to find the answer to. Each question would stem from information that was posted on signs surrounding the tanks.”

Implementing techniques learned in the classroom, the class experienced hands-on training about how to create interactive field trips, while enjoying the sights and sounds of marine life. “I learned all kinds of random facts,” said Shea, as she described the habitats and protective instincts of clownfish and sea anemones. “The sea anemone offers its protection to the clownfish through its poisonous venom, while the clownfish feed the anemones with the oil off their skin.” Their mutually beneficial habitat offers shelter and protection for each species; a fact that Shea will carry with her to her future classroom.

Not just a “work trip,” CCC students were able to pet stingrays, take hundreds of pictures, and enjoy their time off campus. Dr. Larsen drove the van to Sarasota, provided his world-famous chocolate cookies (one of the reasons why he is one of CCC’s most beloved professors!), and taught the class valuable, hands-on lessons in field trip preparation at the Aquarium.

To view more photos from the field trip visit Photo Gallery / Mote Marine Aquarium Field Trip.