Teacher Workshops

Mote Marine Laboratory is excited to offer a series of professional development workshops for Florida formal classroom teachers. Our workshops utilize Mote's breakthrough marine science research and engaging aquarium exhibits to provide marine science content, Mote specific resources and NGSS standards based lesson plans for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Using the fun backdrop of Mote Marine Laboratory and ocean themed curricula, the core concepts of lessons provided are life science and the nature of science with marine conservation and scientific inquiry and application as crosscutting concepts throughout. These workshops are broken into two grade levels that run simultaneously and are offered at no cost to local teachers. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

Teachers of Grades 3rd–5th

These workshops target 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. Lessons are typically STEM and/or inquiry based and focus on student collaboration and problem solving. Participants receive lunch and lesson plans and materials to replicate hands-on activities in the classroom.

Teachers of Grades 6th-12th

These workshops target middle and high school teachers that are interested in incorporating current scientific research into their curricula. Lessons provided are aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and focus on student collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking. Participants will receive Mote scientific papers specific to each topic and will work through lessons provided as a student with time to reflect as a teacher. Participants will receive a stipend to replicate hands-on activities in the classroom.

Spring 2020

When: See dates below.
Where: Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida, 34236 (exact location to be disclosed upon registration)
Times: 9:00am-3:00pm
Contact: Dana Henderson, missdana@mote.org, 941-388-4441 ext 133


Date: February 08, 2020
Description: From protecting coastlines to providing habitats for a wide variety of marine life, healthy coral reefs are vital to a healthy planet. During this workshop we will learn about the intricate relationships within the Florida Keys reef ecosystem and ways you and your students can contribute to healthy reefs.  These workshops include behind the scenes of Mote’s breakthrough coral research to get a sneak peak of how Mote is leading the fight to save Florida’s coral reefs.
These workshops have reached maximum capacity. Please email missdana@mote.org to be placed on the waiting list.


This workshop is only available for 3rd-5th grade.
Date: March 07, 2020
Description: From shrimp to scallops, these spineless creatures make up the majority of animal life on this planet but because so many people love to eat them, their populations have become strained. During this workshop, we will learn about their unique adaptations, Mote's research with invertebrates and ways that your students can contribute to a healthy marine ecosystem.  This workshop includes behind the scenes of Mote Aquarium, a marine invertebrate costumes make and take and an optional Sarasota Bay field exploration.
This workshop has reached maximum capacity. Please email missdana@mote.org to be placed on the waiting list.


Date: March 28, 2020
Description: During this workshop, we will explore the fascinating evolution of mammals from the water to the land and back to the water again while learning about Mote's role in their research and conservation. This workshop will include an exploration of Mote's newest temporary exhibit "Ancient Seas".


Check back soon for exciting Summer Teacher Professional Development opportunities with Mote!



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: September 28, 2019
  • Time: 9:00 am–11:00 am
  • Length: 2 hours.
  • Group Size: up to 50 adults.
  • Location: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241.
  • 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.