Carefree Learner - Sarasota High's Floating Classroom

Carefree Learner - Sarasota High's Floating Classroom

Sarasota High School’s “floating classroom” conducts educational tours in Sarasota Bay for students and the community.

Marina Jack has graciously donated our slip at the Sarasota Bayfront. The boat is located on the south end of the marina. All schools in the Sarasota County have the opportunity to take a tour with the Carefree Learner. The Sarasota County School Board has been generous to the Carefree Learner program and makes it possible for 7th grade middle school classes to participate for free.



(941) 955-0181 ext. 64652

Carefree Learner: Sarasota High School’s Floating Classroom

Program description

The Carefree Learner begins by heading out onto Sarasota Bay. Once over the seagrass beds, an otter trawl net is deployed to collect organisms. Students search through bins loaded with sponges, seaweed, and a variety of animals. Sponges are searched for invertebrates, and animals are placed in the centrally located aquariums for observation and discussion later on in the trip.

With the sponges released back into the bay to regenerate, we start making our way to the Robert’s Bay Bird Rookery, one of Florida’s most successful breeding colonies. Depending on the time of year students can observe mating behaviors, nest building, feeding, and juveniles of a variety of native bird species.

As we make our way back to the dock, the instructor fishes out the various animals we collected from the aquariums for discussion. Species’ roles and relationships, defensive adaptations, reproductive methods, feeding, and habitat is discussed in detail. The CFL then makes her way into Hudson Bayou to review the ecological importance of mangrove and seagrasses to Florida (erosion, fisheries, etc.).

Additional field trip options include a plankton tow, invasive species walk of Edwards Island, and water quality.

Booking / scheduling contact

Megan Ehlers

   (941) 955-0181 ext. 64652

Program detail
Artistic discipline:
Cultural Origin: Array, Array
Program type: Off-Campus Field Trip
Population served: 6-8, 9-12
Subject: Science
Bilingual: No

Marina Jack A-Dock 31, 2 Marina Plaza

Sarasota FL 34236

Fees / Ticketing:


Trips and transportation are free for SCS middle school students in a life science course (7th grade). All other grades start at $15 per student, transportation not included.


Is transportation needed for this exploration?: Yes
If Yes, who arranges transportation?: Teacher
Is financial assistance offered?: Yes

Program info

Summer or Family Programs Offered?: no