Baker School Students Have Unforgettable Educational Experience at Sea World

Baker School’s Gifted and Talented students had the opportunity recently to participate in an unforgettable educational experience at Sea World. This fun, standards-based nocturnal field trip started at 6pm and lasted until 9am the following morning and included a late night tour of the park, a pizza dinner and continental breakfast. Age-appropriate educational content, standards-based activities and even an animal encounter were all part of the fun.

Two members of the Sea World educational staff guided the Baker School students through a hands-on investigation of skeletal structures and adaptations as they taught valuable lessons of conservation. 

Students had the park to themselves when they were treated with an after-hours tour.  The group observed and learned about the animal habitats, as well as the careers available through Sea World employment. 

The highlight of the evening was opening a cot, settling into a sleeping bag, and spending the night observing the nocturnal sounds and behaviors of the bottlenose dolphins. 

After a few short hours of sleep and before the park opened, students provided intellectual stimulation for the dolphins through an interactive play session. 

The experience concluded with an unforgettable day in the park, spent observing the animals during performances and in their enclosures. 

“Students left with a much deeper understanding of animal habitats and care, as well as appreciation for the training that is required to prepare marine life for shows and performances,” said Lori Wagner, Baker School.

The Baker School secondary gifted and talented program offers gifted students opportunities to explore post-secondary educational options and observe and explore occupations that require either a college degree, industry certification, or advanced training.  These opportunities extend the general education classroom, adding relevancy to instructional content through connections to career exploration.  Career and college exploration for students is offered with continuity through a student’s secondary years, and delivered earlier than typical programs.  The eventual goal of the program is to develop a student who is more career-minded, with a plan for continued education upon high school graduation.

As enrichment to the secondary students’ core curriculum, gifted students are invited to participate in the Baker School Gifted and Talented Program, GaT(ors).  This program includes those students who have been identified as ESE Code L, as well as those students who have demonstrated exemplary performance on the FCAT by scoring 5s in both reading and math.  The typical count of active participants is 30 students, grades 6-12.  The gifted secondary students are on consultation and attend seminar-style meetings each quarter, with a classroom teacher who holds a valid gifted endorsement.  These meetings are designed to make the general education content relevant to career selection, and encourage college and career exploration.  Research, on-going communication, and seminar follow-up are conducted through use of various technology-based programs.  Gifted students are encouraged to accept positions within the structure of the program, and are given real tasks to encourage and develop skills of leadership and collaboration.  Several times a year, students are provided an opportunity to visit college campuses as well as observe professional careers in action through high-interest field trip locations.  At the end of each year, students complete a Program Evaluation to determine the effectiveness of the planned activities and to gather information for planning seminar content for the following year. 

To learn more about Sea World’s educational programs, click here.

For more information about Baker School’s Gifted and Talented program, please contact the Baker School at (850) 689-7279.

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