Field Trips - Grades 9-12

General Information

Our school field trips are free for students – rain or shine – but, you must provide the transportation to and from the Suncoast Youth Conservation Center (SYCC). Minimum class size is 10 students and the maximum number of students in one day is 42 or less depending on your chosen activity. Since SYCC is ACA accredited, we require a 1:10 adult to youth ratio for all land-based activities and a 1:5 adult to youth ratio for water-based activities. We provide the instructors, lessons, necessary equipment and smiles for your memorable time here.

Please email us with questions and to book your field trip experience: Hurry, spaces fill up fast!

High School Grades (9-12):


Marine Habitats from Marshes to Mudflats (4 hours) – Students will learn about marine habitats in the Tampa Bay area: river, mangrove, marsh, seagrass, and sandy beach, and then draw connections about the locations of these habitats as they relate to the Tampa Bay watershed. Do the problems occurring upstream affect those in the salty Gulf of Mexico? Then, via kayak, students will explore Newman Branch Creek Paddling Trail and be immersed in the mangrove swamps of Tampa Bay. Students will be challenged by a scavenger hunt to collect the leaves of the different mangrove species and identify critters that inhabit the shallows of Tampa Bay. Finally, students will draw upon their daily lives to determine how they can protect such an important habitat. Maximum number of students is 26. Multiple days per school can be scheduled to accommodate large classes

Fish Sampling Methods (4 hours) – Students will learn about the two main fish sampling methods used in Tampa Bay by fishery scientists: independent- and dependent-monitoring. They will then use a seine net to sample the fish community found in an area of the tidal creek, mimicking the independent-monitoring techniques of local scientists. Students will sort their catch by type, use a field guide to identify the fish species, count the number of each species collected, and measure a subset of 10 of each species prior to releasing them. Then, students will learn the importance of protecting fish species by discussing ethical angling techniques and trying hook-and-line fishing. The fish caught will be recorded via dependent-monitoring techniques and the students will understand the differences between both methods.

Inclement Weather Plan:

In the event of bad weather, the Suncoast staff will use the following activities as an alternative to the scheduled outdoor programming. Students will be put into two groups; each group will participate in one of the following activities prior to lunch and then switch activities after lunch.

Fish Tagging Surveys (2 hours) – Students will become familiar with sampling gears used in fishery science to catch and tag fish. Next, students participate in an activity that will simulate catching and marking fish in an ocean. Then, students will apply mark-recapture data to learn how to estimate the population size of fish in their ocean. Concepts covered will include ratio and proportion for problem‐solving purposes.

Species C.S.I. (2 hours) – Students will learn about dichotomous keys and how they are used by scientists to identify unknown species. Using observational skills, the students will identify the anatomy needed to classify the five species of sea turtles found in Florida and then will be challenged to take the techniques taught and identify some common fish specimens of Tampa Bay. Students will understand how some fish species can be identified easily while others need additional tools, such as microscopes, to determine their true identity.

Suncoast Youth Conservation Center
6650 Dickman Rd. | Apollo Beach, FL 33572
(813) 922-7961 |
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