MONROE COUNTY — The Monroe County School District is the first to adopt a new science-based curriculum program designed by Florida International University.
Known as Mission Inspire, the subscription-based program will begin in middle and high school classes this fall, according to a page about the program, starting with the first two courses that the program offers, called Expedition Ocean and Expedition Biscayne Bay.
In Expedition Ocean, students will learn about Aquarius Reef Base, a research station located underwater about 5 miles off Key Largo that is operated by FlU. Mission Inspire will immerse students into these experiences through virtual lessons. In one lesson, students will have to work together to solve a simulated emergency and determine which items are most important to survive in an underwater lab.
According to the district, the program will be for seventh and ninth grade students and includes training for teachers on the use of the materials. A district spokeswoman said they have been in partnership with FIU for several projects over the years and Mission Inspire is the latest venture.
According to a webpage about the program, FIU’s Education Outreach program was set to do a number of field trips with the school district in 2020 with funding from Royal Caribbean, but many of them were converted to virtual trips once the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The schools wanted to continue the interactive partnership and thus decided to come up with programs such as Mission Inspire. A district spokeswoman said the entire program is based on natural sciences.