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Press Release

Monday, November 14, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Animal Habitats Come Alive for Special Teacher Talk Shows

~ Busch Gardens and SeaWorld serve as classrooms for Florida's teachers ~

TALLAHASSEE- Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson and Public Schools Chancellor Pam Stewart shared their appreciation to 200 of the state's teachers alongside numerous tigers, dolphins and sharks at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld during special Teacher Talk shows Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13. Educators from across the state participated in unique professional development workshops on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and then had the opportunity to spend the night in Tiger Lodge at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay and at Dolphin Cove or the Coral Reef Aquarium at SeaWorld. The Florida Department of Education (DOE), in partnership with Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and numerous education vendors, turned its monthly Teacher Talk show into teacher appreciation sleepover sessions for learning.

"I was honored to recognize the dedicated work of our teachers through these events and appreciated the opportunity to interact with some of our state's excellent educators," said Commissioner Robinson. "By offering hands-on experiences and showcasing the latest in the STEM fields, these educators were able to gain valuable new resources to help them further enrich their student's learning."

Last month, educators were asked to submit an online application on the Just for Teachers website to be considered for the special events. Of the initial 1,000 applicants, 200 teachers were randomly selected to attend. Various companies donated their educational products to the Florida Education Foundation, including Polyvision, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, Middlebury Interactive, Scholl Educational Services and Annette Bus Lines, as a way to extend their appreciation to Florida educators and to support education in Florida.

"Teacher Talk" is a television show produced by the Florida Department of Education that focuses on Florida teachers and their innovations both in and out of the classroom. Each show is available to school districts across the state and will air on the Department's YouTube channel. For more information about "Teacher Talk," visit http://www.fldoe.org/justforteachers.