Back to School Science Saturdays Every other Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center explores the diverse world of the ocean during Science Saturdays. Covering various ocean topics, Science Saturdays feature different marine themes each week. Events often feature a guest speaker, fun activities and ocean crafts and are geared for students from second through fifth grade. Tickets are available in advance for $8 per adult and $6 per child and includes admission to the discovery Center.
After School Programming The Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center offers a rich variety of after school programs to keep elementary students engaged and learning with hands-on experiences. During the fall and spring semesters, students currently enrolled in school, virtual learning or homeschooling may participate in one or two classes per week. Led by the Discovery Center’s education staff, classes cover a range of marine science topics ranging from sharks to reptiles, climate change and more. Subjects and themes change weekly, so students learn something new at each program.
Different programs are available for $12/day for lower elementary students (ages 6-8) on Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. and for upper elementary students (ages 9-12) on Fridays from 5:30 p.m. Discounts are offered for home-schoolers and multiple programs where families can bundle and save by purchasing four classes in advance for $40.
Bay Grasses in Classes Tampa Bay Watch’s Bay Grasses in Classes (BGIC) program aims to facilitate youth involvement in habitat restoration efforts by allowing students to work side-by–side with local scientists to help restore the Tampa Bay watershed. At participating schools, students help create a wetland nursery where they plant, maintain, and harvest estuarine wetland plants to be replanted into targeted coastal areas. These planting activities allow local students a hands-on opportunity to actively learn and restore the environment and community in which they live. Students learn the importance of coastal wetland plants, which stabilize shorelines, act as storm buffers, filter stormwater runoff, and provide habitat for many wildlife species. Throughout the school year, educational curriculum, aligned with state standards is offered in conjunction with our service learning projects in order to provide critical knowledge and promote environmental stewardship.
Estuary EDventures’ Estuary EDventures’ field trips are hosted at the Tampa Bay Watch Marine Education Center. Field trips are facilitated by experienced educators with degrees in biology, marine biology, and environmental sciences and are aligned to Sunshine State Standards. Programs are designed to engage students in hands-on, experiential labs and field activities focused on the estuarine environment. Whether seining, dissecting, or identifying, students learn basic science principles and leave feeling inspired. Financial assistance available for qualifying schools.
Eco Tours of Tampa Bay Eco-tours have begun service from the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center on the latest our brand new USCG-certified catamaran Eco-Vessel, M/V Discovery. Moored at the St. Pete Pier, M/V Discovery provides on-the-water public Eco-tours for the school field trips and for students, seven days per week. These educational tours explore the waters of Tampa Bay, its history and the marine life found in and above the bay. The Discovery Center’s marine biologists provide insights into the local waters and species while conducting scientific research. Day tours include a fisheries trawl, bird spotting and identifying specific traits, dolphin and manatee identification and behaviors, all while enjoying a relaxing bay cruise. Proceeds from your tour supports the important environmental restoration work of Tampa Bay Watch.
About Tampa Bay Watch Tampa Bay Watch is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary through scientific and educational programs. Incorporated in 1993, Tampa Bay Watch performs habitat restoration and protection activities throughout the year, relying heavily on the efforts of community volunteers. Their programs seek to build citizen awareness, concern and participation through educational outreach. Tampa Bay Watch opened a second facility at the new St. Pete Pier entitled the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center which opened in July of 2020. The Discovery Center has a public Exhibit Gallery to showcase the economic and ecological value of the Tampa Bay estuary to residents and visitors, and a classroom to expand educational outreach programs to Tampa Bay area schools. For more information, visit www.tampabaywatch.org, or call 727-867-8166.