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Sea Turtle Academy for Homeschool All Ages

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Barrier Island Sanctuary

8385 Florida A1A

Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

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We are excited to have your students participate the Sea Turtle Academy here at the Barrier Island Center!

To deliver quality programs, please keep in mind:

  • This is an educational program and although many of the activities are fun and hands-on, this is not considered play time for children participating.
  • Participants are required to stay for the duration on the program (10 am - 1pm). If someone needs to leave early, please speak directly with the staff educator before the program begins.
  • Parents are not permitted to drop off child without an adult. We ask that an adult stay on site at the Center for the program incase of an emergency.

Please review these responsibilities before you arrive at the BIC. We request that adults participating in programs:

  • Take care of discipline so that the BIC instructor can focus on education and on the activities.
  • Help keep students quiet, in a group, behind the instructor, and from picking leaves or touching plants.
  • Assist with activities such as handing out and gathering supplies, reading directions, explaining activities again, etc.
  • Supervise students during bathroom breaks, exhibit hall, and lunch.
  • Assist students with recycling and trash clean-up during lunch.
  • Keep talking with other parents and children to a minimum so that students and the BIC instructors are less distracted.
  • Turn cell phones to vibrate. Phone calls may be taken outside the classroom or several feet back from the group if outside.


  • Remind students and chaperones what to wear and what to bring. Many activities will take place outside. Please dress appropriately. Closed-toed shoes are required. Please apply sunscreen before arriving, and bring it with you to reapply if needed. A reusable water bottle, hat, and bug spray are optional.
  • Ask students to pack lunches with as little waste as possible. Reusable containers are encouraged over single-use plastic bags & bottles. Go green!

Day of Study Trip

Group Arrival

Please arrive on time. A staff member will greet you and collect the Sea Turtle Academy Parent Permission Forms. You may bring your lunch back to the classroom to be stored during the program.

Gift Shop

Students should visit the gift shop at the end of the program while under supervision.

Sea Turtle Academy Overview


  1. Provide students with an opportunity to learn about local threatened and endangered species native to Central Florida.
  2. Provide students with an opportunity to study several annually assessed science benchmarks through interactive activities.

Sea Turtle Academy Activity Details

Activities are subject to change depending on weather a time available once all participants arrive - Be on time!

- Turtle Academy (30-45 minutes) – Interactive lesson on classification, anatomy, and feeding habits of sea turtles native to Florida. Students may have the opportunity to touch a diamondback terrapin and compare it’s anatomy to a sea turtle.

  • Classify what group of animals sea turtles belong to and name characteristics of a reptile.

- Stranding Scenario (30 minutes) – Students simulate a sea turtle stranding by taking notes on a clipboard to predict what happened to the turtle.

  • Work in pairs to complete a data report including the observation, measurement, and recording of data.

- Turtle Tag (30 minutes if space/time available) – Students pretend they are sea turtles and have to make it through each life stage where they encounter more predators.

  • Name the stages of a sea turtle’s life cycle and the habitats it depends on.

- Beach walk & clean up (30 minutes)

- Lunch (30 minutes)

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Classify what group of animals sea turtles belong to and name characteristics of a reptile.
  2. Name the stages of a sea turtle’s life cycle and the habitats it depends on.
  3. Identify actions that will help sea turtles.


The following vocabulary terms may be discussed, defined, and used during the activities.

Adaptation: A characteristic of an organism that increases its chance of survival in its environment (a change in behavior or structure).

Atlantic Ocean: The ocean off of the east coast of Florida.

Carapace: The hard upper shell of a turtle or crustacean

Ecosystem: A wildlife community formed by the interactions of organisms with each other and with the physical features of the landscape (desert, rainforest, tundra, ocean, coastal strand, maritime hammock, etc.).

Habitat: A place in the ecosystem where an organism normally lives. Habitat is comprised of four “ingredients”: food, water, shelter and space.

Indian River Lagoon: An aquatic habitat next to the inland side of the barrier island.

Plastron: The underside part of a tortoise’s or turtle’s shell.

Predator: An animal that naturally preys on other animals.

Reptile: A cold-blooded vertebrate of a class that includes snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles and tortoises.

Sanctuary: A safe place.

Scute: A thickened horny or bony plate on a turtle’s shell.

Sargasso Sea: An area of the Atlantic ocean bounded by currents, where floating mats of Sargassum seaweed collect in a gyre.

Vertebrate An animal of a large group distinguished by the possession of a backbone or spinal column including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.

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Barrier Island Sanctuary

8385 Florida A1A

Melbourne Beach, FL 32951

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