3/4/10

Onboard workshop gives teachers real research experience

Teachers—grades 4-10—and informal educators will have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to Lake Michigan science on a week-long Shipboard and Shoreline Science workshop offered by COSEE Great Lakes (Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence).

The workshop—aboard the U.S. EPA’s 180-foot research vessel, Lake Guardian—coincides with the Lake Michigan Intensive Monitoring Field Year, which is a part of an agreement between EPA and Environment Canada to focus on and conduct intensive monitoring in one of the Great Lakes each year.

“Every workshop has its own sampling design,” said Jacqueline Adams, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) water quality extension associate. “But because this workshop is focused on Lake Michigan and the nearshore, it is very likely that the data collected will contribute to the EPA database for the Lake Michigan Intensive Year.”

Participants will work alongside scientists to explore firsthand a variety of disciplines, including ecology, geology, geography, weather and biogeochemical processes. Throughout the week they will be collecting planktonic and benthic organisms, as well as performing water quality data collection and analysis.

In addition, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to investigate and discuss curricula and other educational resources pertaining to Great Lakes and oceans.

“What the educators learn through their Lake Michigan monitoring and data analysis activities will be taken back and integrated into their classroom instruction,” said IISG Associate Director for Education Robin Goettel, who is coordinating the workshop. “The activities that they experience onboard the vessel complement the research they are doing. This experience also helps participating scientists broaden the impact of their research and better understand teachers’ needs for current scientific information to incorporate into classrooms.”

Fifteen educators will be selected from around the Great Lakes basin to participate in the workshop, which will take place from July 6-12, 2010. For more information or to fill out an application, visit the workshop page. If you have more questions, contact Robin Goettel. Applications are due by April 2, 2010.

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