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School Groups

Help us to tailor your whale watch to compliment classroom programs, in compliance with Massachusetts State Frameworks. Following is a brief introduction to some of our programs developed by our Marine Research and Education Department, humpback whale experts in collaboration with biology teachers from Cape Cod regional schools and other affiliates.

school-groupsCall us to book your School Trip 1-800-826-9300

Salt’s Family and Friends
Explore and learn about the marine life beneath our emerald seas with this interactive poster.

Interactive Activities include:
Plankton samples: when requested, a plankton sample will be collected and zooplankton will be magnified and examined.
Blubber glove: learn about blubber and insulation as students compare a bare hand with one in a blubber glove.
Hydrophone: when requested, An underwater microphone can be deployed in calm seas to listen to the sounds of the marine habitat we explore.
Follow our tracks: Computer screens will record and display our movements and cruise track on every whale watch.
Kiosk: Learn about the habitat, the marine life and the history of the waters you will be visiting. 

Learning/Reading Materials
Several field guides, posters and children’s books on marine life are on board all Dolphin Fleet vessels.

Our trained, experienced naturalists (over 90 years of combined experience!) range from researchers to biology school teachers and field guides. Each is capable of creating a program to compliment their classroom curricula.

Using National Science Education Standards for interactive whale watching education

Since 1975 the Dolphin Fleet, which started the phenomenon of bringing the public to observe whales offshore has pursued a duel mission 1) to provide a stable, reliable platform for scientific research to preserve marine mammals and their habitat and 2) provide a scientifically- based education program for both the general public and, more specially, for school groups on field trips, again with purpose of preserving endangered species and habitat.

Towards the latter goal, the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown has developed an interactive education program guided by National Science Education Standards. These standards are based on the principles that: science is for all students; learning science is an active process; school science reflects the intellectual and cultural traditions that characterize the practice of contemporary science;and improving science education is part of systemic education reforms.

Adapting the standards to hands-on activities helps to support inquiries while interacting with students, to develop their skills of scientific inquiry and encourage curiosity and openness to new ideas and data. In addition, data forms sent to each school after the whale watch experience extend the learning process from the ocean to the classroom. The Dolphin Fleet web site is constantly updated with new data and provides a valuable resource for field trip follow-up in the classroom and student research.

Following is a summery of the subjects and activities addressed on Dolphin Fleet whalewatch eco-excursions to facilitate the development of abilities necessary to understand and do scientific inquiry. Programs vary in detail and definition for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.

Physical Science
Position and motion of objects:
Glaciers and the geology of Cape Cod Currents and waves: the ocean as a physical and biological system

Life Science
The characteristic of organisms:
Basic needs of marine organisms from plankton to great whales
Adaptations of marine mammals
Structure and function of marine organisms from plankton to great whales

Life cycles of organisms:
Life cycles of marine plants to the great whales including whale migration
Inherited characteristics and learned characteristics: whale families, their similarities and differences

Science and Technology
Technological design and understanding science and technology:
Data collection on marine mammals and technologies in plankton and marine mammal research: using suitable tools to answer scientific inquiries
How science can be used to promote understanding and protection of marine resources

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Characteristics and changes in populations
Factors influencing population increase and decrease in marine mammals
Types of Resources
How the marine environment supports a web of life
Limited resources and conservation

Changes in Environments
Natural and human-induced changes in the marine environment and their potential impacts
History and Nature of Science
How science has influenced our understanding of marine life and how much we have to learn
How science has helped to promote conservation
Science as a career