The next time these teachers head to the classroom chances are they won’t be standing in front of it. The Dolphin Encounters Marine Resource Seminar is a one day class designed to educate teachers first-hand on various key marine issues. The seminar involves a day of activities, learning sessions, useful class activities, distribution of learning resources and caps off with a personal dolphin encounter. The program is tailored specifically for educators to immerse them not only in the water, but in the curriculum so that they can take what they have learned back to their classrooms.
The Marine Resource Seminar was formulated to assist teachers overcome the many hurdles they face in teaching a science curriculum. It’s nearly impossible to teach students without the proper tools. This is why Dolphin Encounters has come up with the Marine Resource Handbook, which is laid out as a master set of copies for teachers to reproduce and reuse in each class. The seminar also trains teachers to understand the materials provided. In this program, not only do the teachers get to whet their appetite for knowledge, they get to wet their feet.
Teachers get the opportunity to put marine education into action by coming face to fin with the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the shallow water Encounter program. Kids aren’t the only ones who go home with prizes; all of the teachers receive T-shirts and certificates for participating in the seminar. They also get a complimentary lunch. Another added bonus for participating in this free seminar is participating teachers from government schools qualify to bring their students to participate in the Reef Rangers program. This program includes an exciting dolphin encounter with our marine ambassadors – the dolphins.
“This is hands down one of the best programs that we offer here at Dolphin Encounters,” said Annette Dempsey, assistant director of marine mammals at Dolphin Encounters. “We don’t charge the teachers anything to do this program, all we’re asking is that they come to us with an open mind to learn and a willingness to not only make a difference, but to instill that train of thought in their students. Everyone benefits from this seminar.”
“We’ve gotten such great feedback from the teachers over the years. They’re always excited about participating in our programs.”
Training outside the classroom offers teachers an opportunity to enhance both their professional and personal development in science content and knowledge.
“This seminar is very good for teachers. They get to be on the other side of the learning stick, so to speak. They are able to see what they should focus on, what they’re doing right or wrong, and how to keep their students’ attention. It puts them in their students’ shoes,” said Tanya Moss, education assistant.
DE – Project B.E.A.C.H, a non-profit element of the Dolphin Encounters facility located on Blue Lagoon Island, was developed to provide unique opportunities to Bahamian students and teachers for marine education and appreciation. Their education programs provide unique opportunities for marine education.
The programs – Beach Buddies, Marine Resource Seminar, Dolphin Adventure, Sea Lab, Sea Camp, Ocean Odyssey Camp, Aqua Explorers Camp, Student Internship Camp, Ocean Puppet Pals, Marine Assembly Program, and Reef Rangers have the full support of the following agencies: B.R.E.E.F, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, The Bahamas Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Bahamas Ministry of Education and the Bahamas National Pride Association. Dolphin Encounters non-profit division, Project B.E.A.C.H has garnered the Ministry of Tourism’s highest award of excellence, the Cacique Award, for its work.