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Selby Gardens Becomes A Lab For Students

McIntosh Middle School students got out of the classroom and into the gardens for an interactive field trip.

Students from McIntosh Middle School are getting some hands-on experience at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens this week.

Students from the school participated in an interactive field trip Tuesday and Wednesday at Selby Gardens where they studied soil samples, examined water taken from bromeliads tanks to discover bugs and microorganisms as well as learned the importance of preserving Florida wildlife.

On Wednesday morning, the school's seventh grade Hawks team, an advanced environmental studies group of students, took to the gardens.

At one station, students studied the difference between coastal soil and organic soil located next to each other by Sarasota Bay.

"It's valuable for them to see soil where it is," said Selby Director of Horticulture Mike McLaughlin.

Selby Director of Education Jeannie Perales said the gardens offers all sorts of hands-on field trips and classes, from butterfly dances for kindergartners and leaf rubbings to the more advanced lessons that the McIntosh students participated in.

"All tours are tailored to fit the needs of the classrooms" Perales said.

Adults and pre-schooler classes are also offered at Selby. For more information on arranging a class or a field trip, contact education@selby.org.

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