Pre-service teachers learn about penguins

SPC pre-service teachers at Sea WorldPre-service teachers from St. Petersburg College recently attended a College of Education  workshop at Sea World entitled Penguins: Flightless and Fearless. Members of the Student Florida Education Association (SFEA), the students learned amazing facts about the lifelong plight of penguins and how to incorporate the information into hands-on STEM activities in the K-12 classroom.

St. Petersburg College offers bachelor’s degrees in math and science education that give you the know-how to help students learn to solve problems in the real world.

Pre-service teachers go behind the scene at Sea World

As part of the workshop, the SFEA members were permitted behind the scenes access to several penguin habitats where they experienced person-to-penguin encounters.

SPC pre-service teachers learn about penguinsSPC pre-service teachers plan STEM activities on penguins

Penguin Highlights:

Penguins are flightless birds, aquatic in nature. They spend 75 percent of their time in water.  Their tux like appearance is a form of camouflage called “countershading” to keep them safe while in water.  They use their wings like flippers in the water.  Their prey is found within 60 feet of the water’s surface, so no need for them to swim in deep water.  They catch their prey while swimming and swallow their food whole.  Penguins are found on every continent in the Southern Hemisphere.  The life span of a penguin is approximately 15-20 years depending on the species.  There are 18 different species of penguins. The Galapagos, yellow-eyed, northern rockhopper, African and erect-crested penguins are considered endangered. Each penguin has a distinct call which allows for them to find their chicks and mates even in large groups called rookeries.

SPC student with penguinSPC student with penguinSea World staff and SPC student in penguin habitatMore info about SFEA

SFEA at SPC was designed for future educators.  The club offers professional development workshops, networking and leadership opportunities.  Members also get the opportunity   to meet other pre-service teachers as well as in-service educators.

If  you’re interested in learning more about leadership and service learning for educators, please contact Jessica Curtis at or Dr. Wanda Santos at

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