FFA Marine Lab at Northboro is designed to offer students from South Florida and surrounding areas a chance to participate in the “best field trip ever,” to make science fun and instill in area children a love and appreciation for the stunning natural resources in their own backyard. This is a mission the FFA has tackled for more than a decade. During the summer of 2016 alone, for example, about 1,500 students enrolled in various FFA summer camps, participating in fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and classroom-based lessons that taught them not only about the water sports involved, but imparted key team-building, leadership and environmental stewardship lessons along the way. Thousands more students participate during the school year in our signature Angling For a Healthy Future curriculum, offered as part of the aftercare program in Palm Beach County public schools. Many of these kids, especially those from underprivileged communities, are seeing the ocean, and its marine life, for the first time — flying fish, turtles, porpoises, star fish, coral reefs, manatees and much more. One group watched our crew rescue two distressed swimmers who were being pulled out to sea by the ocean’s currents. By the end of the summer, our students were calling this the “best field trip ever.” Imagine how much more we can do with a dedicated building and our own classroom setting, with aquaponics, microscopes, a touch tank and other assets, all located a short bus ride away from our 49-passenger, Coast Guard-inspected catamaran that expands the classroom to the waterway. It is an experience every child deserves, and one that FFA Marine Lab at Northboro is committed to delivering.