MarineLab is a program of Marine Resources Development Foundation (MRDF). We have been providing STEM education through learning about the ocean long before it was called STEM education! MarineLab is located at the MRDF facility on Key Largo, Florida. MRDF is a 501 (c) 3non-profit organization created in 1971 to help improve the quality of life on earth through education and the responsible use of marine resources for food, fresh water, energy, minerals and medicine.
MarineLab has added a Service Learning component to its programs by partnering with various agencies to provide data for their numerous research projects. MarineLab students now perform a valuable service while learning about nearshore marine ecology.
MarineLab has been in operation since 1985, and serves 4,000 students and teachers each year. Most of our schools have returned to us year after year, which tells us that we are on the right track with our curriculum, presentations, and staff! Art Mitchell (retired in 2007) and Ginette Hughes (still here) were instrumental in designing the MarineLab program from the teacher's first phone call to the group's final departure, and that basic formula is still working for us. Over the years, the content has improved, the facility has improved, and the presentations have kept up with technology, but the basic mission of MarineLab has never changed:
To use education and adventure in the Florida Keys marine ecosystem to foster environmental awareness and stewardship on a local, regional, and global scale.