Welcome to REEF Ocean Explorers Programs - where learning is an adventure!
REEF provides incredible education programs that inspire participants to engage in immersive, hands-on learning and exploration. Led by marine life experts, these programs help participants develop leadership skills and bring learning to life. REEF's multi-disciplinary programs for groups and individuals center on marine ecosystems with unique focuses on biology, ecology, citizen science, invasive species, and service-learning. REEF staff customizes each program session to the needs and interests of the group, making the courses appropriate for participants of all ages and experience levels. We offer programs for schools, scouts, travel groups, colleges, and universities. Plus family programs and teacher workshops for professional development.
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Each of our Ocean Explorers Programs pulls from various core areas of study, all of which can be tailored to each group. You can choose one area of study or a combination of topics to build a unique and personalized program. When scheduling a program, let us know what areas of study your group would be most interested in.
In-Person Programs: Interactive classroom or field-based programs. Each session is scheduled in one to four-hour blocks. Ideal for groups that prefer a single-day program or want to incorporate REEF programming into a broader travel itinerary. Most Discovery Programs occur at the REEF Campus in Key Largo, Florida. REEF can also provide offsite programming in south Florida at meeting spaces or field locations secured by the group.
Virtual Programs: Bring the ocean directly to your home or classroom. REEF Virtual Discovery Programs connect participants with the ocean and tie seamlessly into the traditional classroom environment. Online sessions engage students with scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and analyzing and interpreting data.
Full-service multi-day travel programs to international and domestic destinations. In addition to customized educational content, each trip package can be tailored to include housing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, animal encounters, and other aquatic adventures.
Created for college-age students, aged 18-25, REEF's Ocean Explorers Field Survey Trips are led by REEF's experienced Ocean Explorers Education staff and include an itinerary packed with fun, adventure, and learning. They also include pre-trip activities and a service-learning component. They are perfect for individuals or a small group of friends looking to explore, discover, and make a difference with your traveling.
Explorers will be exposed to the natural world of the Florida Keys and all of its amazing creatures during weekly programs filled with creative activities and adventures. Summer single-day camps will include snorkeling, kayaking, science-based activities, special visits, and other outdoor adventures! Summer Single-Day Camp sessions are held on recurring Wednesdays, 9am - 3pm. Each session is hosted at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park located in Key Largo, Florida. Sessions are open to children ages 7-13.
An interactive field trip simulation that includes engaging lesson plans and activities to give 3rd-8th grade students experiences and connections to the marine environment without leaving their classroom. Students have the opportunity to explore what life is like as marine scientists, performing exploration tasks and creating research trials as they complete field journals and become citizen scientists themselves.
Created for cross-curricular access for high school students, the Ocean Explorers Case Studies can be used as a mini-unit or a stand-alone lesson for Biology, Environmental Science, Speech, and Engineering courses. The Invasive Lionfish Case Study analyzes the habitat and adaptations of the lionfish and its effects on biodiversity and biomass. Students will have the option to engineer a lionfish trap or propose a genetic modification to curb populations. The Grouper Moon Case Study incorporates community cooperation and sustainable fishing as students form a panel to discuss different stakeholders of an important economic and natural resource- the Nassau grouper.
Led by marine life and citizen science experts at REEF, educators will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on citizen science programs through field-based professional development workshops in the Florida Keys. The programs include snorkeling while completing fish identification and abundance surveys on the coral reef, kayaking through mangrove forests and learning how to implement engaging and interactive marine science and conservation lessons with students both in and out of the classroom.
Oceans for All Initiative
We are creating opportunities for the next generation of ocean stewards and supporting foundational change in marine conservation through the Oceans for All initiative. It supports scholarships, programming, and outreach activities to provide experience and increase awareness of marine conservation opportunities amongst groups who are underrepresented and those with financial need.
If you or your group is in need of financial support for REEF's Ocean Explorers Education Programs, email explorers@REEF.org for more information.