By Miranda Wrobel, Mote Marine Laboratory
Mommy and Me is an education program created for young children (ages 2-5) and their favorite adults to learn together through marine-themed crafts, games, songs, role play, and special guided visits to Mote exhibits.
In April of 2010, Mommy and Me curriculum focused on research projects that were being conducted by Mote staff and partners all over the world. This included the Chicago Zoological Society’s program on Argentina where SDRP scientists traveled to study the Franciscana dolphin. Students learned about the biology of the Franciscana dolphin and how the scientists were able to tag the dolphins with radio transmitters to learn about their habitat and range.
The children began by breaking up into small groups and boarding their imaginary boats. Students worked together to gently lift stuffed dolphins out of the water and onto their boats to tag them with clothes-pin radio tags. Each student was able to simulate being a scientist by finding the dolphin and properly tagging and releasing it. In addition, students were able to match the colors from their tags to different locations in the classroom where those dolphins were located. By incorporating maps into the activity, students learned that the Franciscana dolphin has a small range and likes to stay in one location, very similar to the bottlenose dolphins that inhabit Sarasota Bay!