The Dunes in Schools program educates middle school students about the rare dune lake and barrier island ecosystems which exist in their local environment. Students begin the school year with an exploratory field trip to the beach where they collect data and restore the coastal habitat through planting sea oats. The remainder of the year, the students participate in monthly lessons.
The goal of the curriculum is to build students’ knowledge about dynamic coastal systems and how their sea oats will benefit this unique habitat. The lesson includes teachers and CBA staff co-instructing the students within the classroom. Additionally, the lessons are correlated to the State of Florida’s Science middle school standards. To ensure concepts are supported throughout the implementation of the program, teacher trainings are offered. During the trainings, teachers become comfortable with the Dunes in School’s online classroom, along with the concepts and material covered throughout the modules. Dunes in Schools engages students with a hands-on science program that encourages each of them to become personally vested in their local environment by gaining an understanding and awareness of coastal systems.