With kids coming out of quarantine and itching to get hands-on with learning again, parents are wondering what options will be available this summer. MarineLab has a ton of marine science educational programs available to keep them busy and engaged. MarineLab is an outdoor classroom based in Key Largo and focused on the environment we enjoy in the Florida Keys. Curriculum includes seagrass, mangrove and coral reef ecology, with discussions on fish and invertebrate diversity.

Summer camps:

MARINELAB/Contributed

MarineLab will be offering summer camp to Monroe County kids, grades 4-8 in June. The organization is planning two separate week-long programs for some fun in the sun and water with marine science education programs. Each day, campers will be taken on a snorkel excursion, guided by local marine biologists, in addition to participating in engaging marine ecology discussions and hands-on labs with live sea critters.

MarineLab is located at MM 103, just north of John Pennekamp State Park.

Camps will run the weeks of June 8 and June 15, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Cost will be $250 per camper and $225 for siblings, with a small surcharge for early drop off/late pickup.

Enrollment will be limited and all CDC sanitation procedures will be followed. Registration information is available from [email protected].

For more information, visit marinelab.org/ or email [email protected].

Free Facebook Live lessons:

Every Monday at 2 p.m. the @marinelabkeylargo’s Facebook page features an interactive marine science lab. Activity sheets to follow along with the lesson are posted at sites.google.com/marinelab.org/virtual/home.

The schedule for upcoming Facebook Live lessons is:

  • May 7: Microplastics: Learn about what microplastics are and how they are affecting the environment.
  • May 14: Algae investigation: See what critters hide in the microhabitats created by large clumps of algae.
  • May 21: Plankton Races: Why do plankton need to stay in the sunlit surface waters? Find out why and how they stay in the photic zone during Plankton Races.
  • May 28: Sponge: Sponges are extremely important to marine waters everywhere. See the inside of a sponge and how each cell of a sponge works together to perform very important functions. 
MARINELAB/Contributed

Free virtual field trips via Zoom:

Every Thursday at 2 p.m. on Zoom, MarineLab will be taking viewers on a virtual snorkeling field trip, to educate students from all over the country on the environment.

The schedule for upcoming virtual field trips is below:

  • May 11: Coral Reef Trip: See the wonders of the coral reef and learn about the diversity that lives there.

Registration link: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIuceqqpjMoHtSlGeebnhKWyTElEl55XQee 

  • May 18: Lagoon: Jump into Jules’ Lagoon next to MarineLab to see what an underwater hotel looks like!

Registration link: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYocu2grDsoHtKfoaXJ_0pD136DVCQFMYYW

  •  May 25: Rodriguez Key: Experience what marine life lives in the unique coralline algae that grows in the ecotone between our inshore and offshore habitats.

Registration link: us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpceuuqTorHdZZ06RjlwLWYNvB_wU-R2Zg

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