John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the nation's first UNDERWATER park! Formed in the 1960's, Pennekamp Park represents over 100 square miles of mangrove shoreline, grass flats, and of course Florida's famous coral reefs. Adjacent to Pennekamp (and extending it's boundaries out to international waters) is the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary. Both these pristine coral reef areas are protected by law against environmental abuse, guaranteeing this beautiful resource will last for many generations.

To find out more about John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, visit these web sites:


John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a FIRST! Your team's mission is to create another FIRST. Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to build the world's first underwater (ocean) amusement park.

Things to Consider:

Where would you build your "underwater" amusement park? Why?

What factors (properties of the ocean) would you have to consider when deciding on a location?

**Note to teachers: Students should brainstorm here. Some suggestions are: depth of water, tide patterns and ranges, topography of the ocean floor, currents, waves, storm patterns, seasonal or daily water temperature ranges, marine life, etc.

Amusement parks are sometimes thematic and usually provide rides or virtual experiences for park visitors. What kinds of underwater experiences would you provide at your amusement park?

Below are some sites that might help you in your problem

Below are some videos that might inspire you


Create a model of your "under the ocean" amusement park. The type of model (written desription, 3-D replica, drawings and illustrations, or computer grahics)you use is up to your team.


To guide you in your mission, you will be presented with a rubric. The use of imagination, creativity, and logic are encouraged. After your final presentation, your assessment will be negoitiated with the team and the Admiral (teacher). Each person's contribution to the project will be decided on by the team. Scores will be individualize accordingly.


Lesson Ideas created/adapted by Margaret Hammer (Graduate Research Assistant) and Judith Kenworthy (Technology Mentor Fellowship Associate) Texas A&M University. All comments and questions can be directed to

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