homeschool science field tripsDISCOVER programs for Homeschool Groups

Ideal for the late elementary, middle or high school student, these programs offer the opportunity to learn about marine ecology through discussion, hands on labs and discovery activities, and snorkeling in the actual marine habitats!

These programs are ONLY DESIGNED FOR GROUPS! Homeschool co-ops or other groups can schedule a standard MarineLab program, or select one of the programs below. As always, we can customize a program for your specific group, within the limits of our curriculum. Our minimum age is 9. You can visit our Field Trips and Activities page to find out the different types of components that can be combined into a MarineLab program.

Our programs are all-inclusive, so you don't need to worry about hotel rooms, meals, or snorkel gear! We can accommodate special meal restrictions such as gluten-free, peanut allergies, vegetarian and lactose intolerant.

The program components are correlated with the Florida Sunshine State Standards, and can enhance AP Environmental Science and AP Biology classes by providing hands-on lab and field experiences. If your homeschool group is studying marine science, or any ecological science, top it off with a trip to the Keys and the third largest coral reef in the world!

DISCOVER the Coral Reef

2 day, 1 night SNORKEL PROGRAM

This is an introduction to the coral reefs of South Florida, including the role of seagrass and mangrove communities in supporting a healthy reef ecosystem! Cost: $225 per person. Includes supper and breakfast, accommodations in our air conditioned dormitories, all field trips and instruction, a logbook to record your experiences and snorkel gear.

Printed Itinerary/Flyer | Make a reservation

Day & Time Activity

Day 1

1:00 PM

Arrive, orientation. This is a facility orientation so you will know how to get around the MarineLab campus, and includes a review of the safety and behavioral guidelines, such as always wearing shoes in the labs.
2:00 PM Swim Test & Gear Orientation. A short swim demonstrates your comfort level in the water. Participants dog paddle or sidestroke, in buddy pairs, for a short distance.
3:00 PM FIELD TRIP: Seagrass/Mangrove ecology. In this snorkeling field trip, participants will explore the seagrass beds and amazing life that lives under and on the mangroves! Instructors will collect algae, seagrass and small invertebrates for everyone to look at back on the boat. the boat returns to the dock at 5:00 PM.
6:30 PM Supper - after your warm soapy shower!
7:30 PM LAB: Invertebrate Diversity. What's living on that rock? Participants take algae-covered rocks and discover the tiny marine invertebrates that make up this micro community. Taxonomy of the invertebrates is discussed, along with the importance of diversity and how it relates to the health of an ecosystem.
8:45 PM DISCUSSION: Coral Reef Ecology. This is an instructor-led discussion and powerpoint on coral reef biology and ecology, including the requirements for a healthy coral reef and why that is important to us!

Day 2

8:00 AM

Breakfast! Yum!
9:00 AM FIELD TRIP: Coral Reef Ecology. At last! A snorkeling field trip out to two different destinations on the coral reef tract. Participants will observe corals, sea fans, sea rods and a myriad of fish and invertebrates that call the reef home. It's like being INSIDE an aquarium!
12:00 PM Return from field trip, depart. Here is your opportunity to enjoy some local seafood at one of our great Key Largo restaurants!

Same gender children and parents will be housed together; however, parent and child of different gender may not be housed together, depending on group sizes.