Teacher Professional Development

Mote Marine Laboratory is excited to offer a series of professional development workshops for Florida formal classroom teachers.

Our professional development programs are designed to: provide locally relevant marine science content enrichment, model science inquiry methods and technology integration strategies with current scientific research, clarify links to state education standards, provide opportunities for interdisciplinary connections, facilitate utilization of Mote resources for teachers, and establish relationships with Mote Education staff for ongoing support of teachers. We encourage teachers to apply with a colleague from the same school in order to collaborate on implementation.

Teachers of Grades 3–5

Our teacher workshops for teachers of grades 3-5 will provide a broad background in marine science, are designed in accordance with Florida Sunshine State Science Standards and complement Mote’s break through marine science research, exhibits and resources. The core disciplines are life science and the nature of science with marine conservation and scientific application as crosscutting concepts. Participants will increase their ocean literacy and return to the classroom with new ideas and resources to make science engaging. This workshop targets 3rd through 5th grade educators with limited experience teaching science or those educators that may need additional support with marine science content and/or implementing standards into lesson plans. This workshop is offered at no cost to teachers. Participants receive lesson plans and materials to replicate hands-on activities back in the classroom. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

Spring 2019 Workshop

Theme: Florida's Bony Fish Classification, Adaptations and Scientific Application
Location: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, Florida 34236
Date: March 23, 2019
Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Contact: Dana Henderson (missdana@mote.org, 941-388-4441, ext. 133)

This workshop theme, “Schooling with Mote: Florida's Bony Fish,” focuses on local bony fish (not sharks) to teach life science concepts like classification, anatomy, adaptations, and life cycles while introducing the topics of climate change and marine conservation. This opportunity is made possible with generous support from The Charles T. Bauer Charitable Foundation.

Teachers will:

• Participate in standards based classroom and laboratory programs as a student with time to reflect as a teacher.
• Learn about bony fish and Mote’s research with bony fish.
• Explore, learn and implement hands-on and inquiry based teaching techniques.
• Go behind the scenes of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.
• Meet and greet with professional(s) that research and/or care for bony fish
• Visit the bony fish of Mote.

After registration, we will send you a confirmation email with the location, agenda and request for your lunch order. Registration closes once maximum participation is reached or at 11:59pm on Friday, March 15. 



Teachers of Grades 6-12

With these workshops for middle and high school teachers, we hope to help inform and encourage best practices for collaborative teacher professional development integrating science and technology. Participating teachers will gain experience using appropriate technologies and will create multi‐media teaching resources for use in their classrooms. Additionally, teachers will be encouraged to share their new knowledge, resources and lessons with their school colleagues. Workshop content will be aligned with Florida standards, as well as county instructional resources with the ability to meet the specific needs of each school, grade, and class. This workshop is offered at no cost to teachers. Participants receive lesson plans and materials to replicate hands-on activities back in the classroom. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

Aquariums in the Classroom Workshop

Location: Keating Marine Education Center, 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236, Room 207
Date: Friday, March 15, 2019
Times: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Contact: Jason Robertshaw (seatrek@mote.org, 941-388-4441, ext. 250)

Learn how to safely (and legally) setup and maintain an aquarium for educational purposes. Includes lesson plan ideas, a FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, field experience and more. Featured expert is Thomas Reynolds, Mote Aquarium Biologist II.

Info and Registration

Corals in the Classroom: Understanding Reef Ecology & Conservation

Location: Keating Marine Education Building, 1599 Ken Thompson Pkwy Sarasota, FL 34236, 2nd Floor Coral Classroom
Date: Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
Times: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Contact: Ross Johnston (seatrek@mote.org, 941-388-4441, ext. 263)

Join Mote Marine Laboratory for “Corals in the Classroom,” a day of marine science, exploration and curriculum development. During this workshop high school teachers will receive behind the scenes tours of Mote’s Coral Health and Disease Lab and coral nurseries, plus take-home resources to teach ocean acidification and coral ecology in their classrooms. There will be presentations on cutting-edge coral research, a demo of Mote’s virtual learning lessons and a free pasta lunch catered by Jason’s Deli.




Aquatic Species Collection Workshop

Mote Marine Laboratory hosts a FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop twice each year, in the fall and in the spring. The workshops are organized by the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA) and allow educators to earn a three-year collecting certificate from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) upon successful completion of the program.

  • Date: June 8, 2019
  • Time: 9:00 am–11:30 am
  • Length: 2.5 hours.
  • Group Size: up to 20 adults.
  • Location: Workshops take place in Mote's Keating Marine Eduation Center (Rm 207), 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236.
  • Cost: $25. Pay online or make checks payable to FMSEA.
  • Contact: Jason Robertshaw, jrshaw@mote.org, (941) 388-4441;250


Program Overview

The purpose of the workshop is to educate teachers/educators regarding responsible collecting and to widen the restrictions imposed by recreational fishing regulations (size, numbers, areal closures, etc). Topics include: rationale for collecting, alternatives to collecting, methods of collecting, minimizing environmental impact, minimizing loss of specimens, regulatory concerns, health concerns, related resources and support. The certificate does not supersede any state or federal regulations, but it does allow the collection of specified numbers of certain species for educational purposes, some undersized, and to use certain types of collecting gear that would not be allowed under recreational fishing guidelines.

The workshop is available to certified Florida teachers and/or employees of educational centers. To be eligible, you must be:

  • An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, an elementary or secondary school.
  • An instructor employed by, or under sponsorship of, another educational institution or organization with courses of biological or aquatic studies.
  • An individual who teaches in a home education program maintained in accordance with Section 1002.41, F.S.
  • A representative of a home education program association.
  • Visit fmsea.org/ascw for full eligibility details.

After successful completion of the two-to-three-hour workshop, a certificate will be mailed to each recipient within six to eight weeks by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This Educator Certification is valid for three years, and renewal workshops are available.

This registration fee includes training, collection certificate processing, a free membership to FMSEA and digital access to workshop materials and resources.