Dolphins Plus Blog

Welcome to the Dolphins Plus blog! Check in here for articles and updates regarding our marine family and the current happenings here at Dolphins Plus.

Introducing Students to the Wonders of Marine Biology

March 01, 2024 / dolphins,

Hands-on learning increases a student’s engagement with the topic and retention of the subject matter while also encouraging problem-solving skills and critical thinking. Getting students out of the classroom and into new environments that showcase the material they are learning is why educational field trips for schools are so popular.

The marine education center at Dolphins Plus offers more than just the chance to interact with dolphins. It brings education to life by interacting with marine mammals and other marine wildlife to provide better education, which can recall and evoke an emotional response from students.

You don’t have to swim with dolphins to meet them – though that is an option at Dolphins Plus. You can learn from the dockside, in the classrooms and labs, and while playing games.

Take a look at the immersive experience you can provide your students through hands-on learning.

Education Programs Offered for School Field Trips

Immersive learning covers a range of teaching approaches and can be applied to a variety of subject matters or courses of study. It requires in-person and in-situational experiential teaching. 

You’ll see immersive learning in experiences like study abroad programs for foreign language majors or clinical rotations that place medical professionals in hospital settings.

So, what does immersive learning look like at a marine education center? Some activities students can take part in include the following.

Immersive Learning Experiences

Behind-the-scenes tours: Dolphins Plus isn’t just a field trip location or tourist attraction. We are a facility focused on conservation and education.  It is our mission to raise awareness of the many threats marine mammals face in the wild, to educate visitors on how their behaviors can effect these marine mammals and the ecosystems they rely on, and to empower students with simple actions they can take to be a part of the solution.   With so much happening at the facility, there is plenty for students to experience and take part in: see how the team cares for our resident dolphin population, experience best husbandry and welfare practices, see how caring for our population translates into helping their wild counterparts, and what a day in the life of a marine biologist looks like.

Interactive demonstrations: Our demonstrations and learning labs go beyond basic observations! Instead, students have opportunities for hands on experiences, to test theories, and ask questions.  They won't remain several feet away from the material.  Instead our marine mammal specialists and trainers invite students to take part in the learning, and to explore various aspects of marine wildlife in person.  

Interactions with marine biologists and trainers: marine biologists aren’t your classic career day subjects, and with so few in the world, it’s hard to showcase what they do and why they matter in a traditional classroom. But on this field trip, students get the opportunity to meet and interact with these professionals who know how to engage students of all ages. Our educators and animal care specialists have worked with many students.  We know how to adjust material to reach each student and how to make our unique profession come to life.

Overview of Educational Programs

Through these experiences, students learn about:

  • Marine mammal behavior
  • Dolphin communication
  • Florida Keys ecology
  • Conservation efforts
  • and more!

Building a Tailored Field Trip Experience

Some field trips are identical no matter the children’s ages or the teacher’s learning objectives. But Dolphins Plus comes alongside educators to build an immersive experience based on how much time educators can devote to the field trip and what they are currently teaching in the classroom.

Marylou Wright one of our Senior Marine Mammal Specialists and the Director of Education at Dolphins Plus can assist you in building a program that meets your goals and provides unique experiences for your class. Learn more about what our facility offers on our school groups page

Start planning your field trip now to cultivate young conservationists passionate about protecting fragile ecosystems that desperately need everyone’s attention, no matter their age or profession. You can reach Marylou at

Dolphins Plus Spectator Pass

To learn more fascinating facts about dolphins, visit our Dolphin Facts page. 

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