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“LIFE” Program Engages Middle School Students in Beach Nourishment Project

The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Learning in Florida’s Environment (LIFE) program recently hosted middle school students from Clearwater’s Kennedy Middle School at Honeymoon Island State Park for a three-day series of labs centered on the park’s recent beach nourishment project. The students conducted science-based field labs as part of the on-site educational program, including bird observations and adaptations, ecosystem ingredients and a dune movement lab.

Since 2004, nearly 3,500 future scientists and stewards have participated in the LIFE program. The LIFE initiative seeks to establish a series of field-based, environmental-science education programs around the state. Each of the nine existing programs is a partnership between the DEP and a local school district. The goal of each LIFE program is increased student achievement and teacher professional development in science, with the content and delivery varying from site to site.