Common Sea Fans (<em>Gorgonia ventilina</em>) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Common Sea Fans (Gorgonia ventilina) are one of several species of sea fans found in southeast Florida. Sea fans are also classified as soft corals or gorgonians.

Photo: Chantal Collier

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Juvenile bluehead wrasses swim along the reef in Palm Beach.

Photo: Joe Marino

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Southeast Florida Reef News

SEFCRI’s Learning Center – Getting Coral Reefs into the Classroom!

Julio Jimenez
CRCP Program Assistant

SEFCRI Coral Reef Education Kits Photo: Christopher Boykin
SEFCRI Coral Reef Education Kits Photo: Christopher Boykin

The SEFCRI Awareness and Appreciation Team has continued to build and strengthen its relationship with southeast Florida’s teachers since the first Coral Reef Teacher Workshops in 2006. Since then, over 600 local teachers have signed up to receive the quarterly SEFCRI email newsletters and other updates. SEFCRI also offers some unique opportunities that help educators incorporate education on coral reef ecosystems into their classrooms. Two examples of these opportunities are:

 

The Coral Reef Education Kit project – This project consists of shipping trunks containing educational resources and materials to teachers for use in the classroom. These resources include books, maps, posters, DVDs and CDs which contain some of the best information available on coral reefs in Florida and around the world. Teachers sign up through email at the beginning of the school year, and a trunk is shipped according to a rotating schedule. Each teacher has the opportunity to use the contents of the trunk for approximately one month, before sending it off to the next school on the list. Over the last three years, the Coral Reef Education Kits have been circulated to over 60 schools in SEFCRI’s four county region, and have been used by over 5,000 students of all ages (K-12). Teachers are requested to complete a survey at the end of their month; the results from these surveys are reviewed by the SEFCRI Awareness and Appreciation Project Team to ensure the effectiveness of the trunks.

 

The Lesson Plans and Activities page on the SEFCRI website - This is a collection of activities and other resources from over 15 of the world’s top institutes and ocean-based organizations. More than 90 different activities are divided by age group, and are great ways to teach about ocean ecosystems in a hands-on manner. Florida’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) staff are currently reviewing these activities and assessing how each activity fulfills Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. By applying Florida’s standards to these coral reef activities, the staff hopes to encourage local teachers to incorporate these activities into their curriculum. To see these activities, visit the following page on the SEFCRI website and click on the grade level you wish to see:

www.southeastfloridareefs.net/learning-center/lesson-plans-and-activities/k-5/

 

SEFCRI also offers printed materials, such as brochures and posters, which are available to teachers upon request. If you are interested in receiving these materials for your class, or know of a teacher who may be interested in receiving some of these materials, just send an email to coral@dep.state.fl.us. 

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