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 core disciplines are life science and the nature of science with climate change, marine conservation and scientific application as crosscutting concepts. These workshops target 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 two part workshop is offered at no cost to teachers. Participants receive lesson plans and materials to replicate hands-on activities back in the classroom.

Fall 2018 Workshop: "Making Sense of Sharks" 
Theme: Florida Elasmobranchs (Sharks, Skates and Rays)
Date: Two part workshop October 13th and 27th
Part I focus: Classification, adaptations, life cycles and misconceptions
Part II focus: Scientific research and application Time: 9:00-3:00
Contact hours: 12
Included: Coffee and pastries, Lunch from Jason's Deli, Teacher Kit containing 2 lesson plans, 2 STEM activities and all program materials, Mote resources and scientific papers pertaining elasmobranchs.
Contact: Dana Henderson (missdana@mote.org, 941-388-4441, ext. 133)

Registration is now closed as this workshop has reached capacity. Please email missdana@mote.org to be added to our wait list.


Teachers of Grades 6-12

With these workshops, 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.

Aquariums in the Classroom Workshop
Professional Development Workshop for Middle and High School Teachers

Description: Learn how to safely (and legally) setup and maintain an aquarium for educational purposes. Includes lesson plan ideas, an FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, field experience and more. Featured expert is Thomas Reynolds, Mote Aquarium Biologist II.
Location: Keating Marine Education Center, 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236, Room 207
Contact: Jason Robertshaw (seatrek@mote.org, 941-388-4441, ext. 250)

Saturday, September 9, 2018, 8:45 am–4:30 pm.

Info and Registration


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 8, 2018
  • Time: 1:00 pm–3:00 pm
  • Length: 2 hours.
  • Group Size: up to 12 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.