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Mentorship program helps experienced educators share Great Lakes literacy lessons 

December 22nd, 2022 by

This year, Sea Grant’s Center for Great Lakes Literacy (CGLL) held its first Mentorship Virtual Summit to celebrate educator wins and share success stories from classrooms near and far. Attended by 35 mentors and mentees from across the Great Lakes region, the conference provided a space for top-tier science educators to describe some of their favorite lessons—those that provide students with fun and experiential learning opportunities that meet course objectives as well as help build a foundation for environmental stewardship.

CGLL mentors are star educators from schools and organizations from across the basin who have already attended Sea Grant workshops and have experience teaching about the Great Lakes in their classrooms. During the 2021-22 school year, mentors selected mentees from their school or organization with whom they collaborated to incorporate Great Lakes education into lessons with the hope of completing a stewardship piece as well. 

people holding trash bags on beach

Students pick up marine debris at Portage Lakefront at the Indiana Dunes National Park. (Photo provided by Sarah Black)

For example, Sarah Black, a second grade teacher in Portage, Ind., paired up with a fellow educator as a mentor, and together they created a Young Scientists after-school club for fourth and fifth grade students in their elementary school. “We taught [them] about marine debris, invasive species, the biotic index, dune formation and weather versus climate,” said Black.

They also provided students with hands-on experiences at Indiana Dunes National Park by collecting marine debris at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, attending the Maple Sugar Time festival and going on a Mount Baldy hike. Students heard from a local meteorology student from Vincennes University and were also given an opportunity to participate in various research projects such as CoCoRaHS and plastic cup breakdown. These place-based lessons allowed Black to share information with students that applied to where they live.

Another mentor, Ashley Cosme, who works as a marine science and biomedicine teacher at Crown Point High School in Indiana, shared a bit about her experience: “I held a teacher workshop where we dove deep into the world’s largest freshwater system to examine the threats to the Great Lakes and how students can minimize the problem from spreading across the continent.”

She introduced teachers to hands-on lessons that focus on the causes and impacts of marine debris, and what can be done in their classrooms to decrease the negative impacts on the Great Lakes. Cosme was able to implement and master each lesson with her own students before teaching them to other educators. “Most importantly,” she said, “I made connections with other teachers in my district and developed meaningful professional relationships.” 

To wrap up the experience, all participating mentors and mentees were invited to the virtual summit, which was supported with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to share what they learned throughout the process and their plans for the future.

“The point of the summit was to get people together to network—trying to build a community of practice. We want to have an opportunity for those teachers to strengthen bonds with other mentors and mentees in their states and surrounding regions,” described Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s Kristin TePas, who serves as lead for the mentorship program.

“The summit also presented the opportunity for a guided discussion on what worked and what didn’t work in terms of the mentorship programs, and that feedback is allowing us to create best practices to use moving forward,” she added.

Allowing educators the space to share their mentorship experience and how they’re using Great Lakes literacy in and out of the classroom demonstrates one of the main goals of CGLL.

“Taking knowledge and putting it into action is a primary goal of ours,” said TePas, “so the great part is not just that they’re more knowledgeable but also that they put that knowledge into practice.”

To learn more about the mentorship program and find lesson plans that cover Great Lakes literacy principles focusing on place-based education and community stewardship, visit the Center for Great Lakes Literacy website.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

Writer: Motinola Agunbiade
Contact: Kristin TePas

We’re hiring an outreach associate to help enhance environmental education programming

December 5th, 2022 by

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is looking to hire a Visiting Great Lakes Outreach Associate to assist with a variety of science outreach and education efforts, which will include program development and enhancement, and increasing accessibility of outreach resources. The successful candidate will serve as a full time, 12-month academic professional with primary responsibility for enhancing, implementing, and evaluating environmental outreach programming.

INCLUSION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

The University of Illinois is an EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled http://go.illinois.edu/EEO that participates in the federal e-Verify program and participates in a background check program focused on prior criminal or sexual misconduct history.

We strongly encourage women, minorities, and people from traditionally underrepresented groups to apply. For more on Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant’s commitment to inclusion, please see our values statement on our website.

Position Details

This Visiting Great Lakes Outreach Associate position has been designed to potentially provide job experience to a recent college graduate in a variety of topics and methodologies while also honing soft skills. The successful candidate will work with three successive Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) mentors on a 4-month rotation; each rotation will focus on different types of projects and subject areas including Great Lakes Areas of Concern, workforce development, accessibility, pollution prevention and Great Lakes literacy.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Developing and implementing a teacher workshop.
  • Creating teacher guides for the Freedom Seekers curriculum.
  • Enhancing visibility and accessibility of new and existing resources and content on IISG websites. This may include working with internal and external staff, such as graphic designers, translators, web developers, web administrators, and translators.
  • Contributing to outreach efforts at conferences and meetings.
  • Collaborating with IISG staff and outreach and research partners to develop and translate complex concepts into educational resources that are more accessible to staff, teachers, interest holders, outreach partners, and the public.
  • Strategizing with IISG staff on development of an IISG alumni network and begin its implementation to assist with outreach efforts,
  • Evaluating impacts and work to enhance distribution of specific IISG outreach materials. 
  • Assisting the three IISG mentors on other education and outreach projects, as needed.

B.S. or B.A. required in Natural Resources, Environmental Sciences, Education, Environmental Sustainability, or related field. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date. Position will be remote. (Hybrid option potentially available depending on where the successful candidate is located.)

To Apply

To learn more about the position’s responsibilities and qualifications, visit the job posting on the University of Illinois job board. Applications are due by January 3, 2023.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

Contact: Pat Charlebois

National Sea Grant partnerships address water equity in marginalized neighborhoods

November 21st, 2022 by

Angelica Weaver was determined to create a communal gardening and gathering space in the middle of her Hammond, Ind., neighborhood, even if that meant carrying buckets of water from nearby houses to water the plants while she was eight months pregnant. 

Weaver, a social worker and organizer of the InnerMission Neighborhood Farm, said after meeting Purdue Extension educators at a neighborhood meeting, she reached out about assistance in creating a fully functional garden space on a vacant lot that had no access to potable water. Kara Salazar, assistant program leader and Extension specialist for sustainable communities, and Sara McMillan, former associate professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, partnered with Purdue Extension to assist the InnerMission Neighborhood Farm, as well as a community garden center in nearby Michigan City. Their team was a collaboration among Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Minnesota Sea Grant and Pennsylvania Sea Grant programs, all part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a federal/university partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and 34 university-based programs. They were awarded funds to support this work through a national competition aimed at creating water equity with their project “One Block at a Time.” 

Read the full story of how IISG helped create a green space full of life in what was once a vacant lot in an underserved community: https://ag.purdue.edu/news/2022/11/national-sea-grant-partnerships-address-water-equity-in-marginalized-neighborhoods.html.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Great Lakes Sea Grant programs awarded $425,000 to advance aquaculture

October 21st, 2022 by

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative was awarded $425,000 by the National Sea Grant Office to advance land-based aquaculture in the Great Lakes region. 

The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative (GLAC), led by Minnesota Sea Grant, supports an environmentally responsible, competitive and sustainable aquaculture industry in the Great Lakes region. Formed in 2019, the Aquaculture Collaborative is one of 11 Sea Grant research projects and collaborative programs that received National Sea Grant funding totaling $4.7 million aimed at advancing sustainable aquaculture.

“The focus of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and GLAC’s aquaculture work is on sustainable farming in the Great Lakes region that does not negatively impact the environment,” said project participant and regional Aquaculture Marketing Outreach Associate Amy Shambach. “We’re excited that the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative was awarded additional funds, which will allow us to continue to build on the great work that has been done over the last three years while opening doors to collaborate with new partners. We plan to work with the National Sea Grant Law Center, to take a deep dive into how aquaculture regulations are implemented in the Great Lakes region, and strengthen existing relationships with regional producers and state aquaculture associations by supporting industry events in each state.”

“Our aquaculture program has grown significantly over the last several years as we’ve invested in research, outreach and education,” added Stuart Carlton, assistant director of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. “The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative is a key part of our efforts, and we’re excited to work with this regional team focusing on environmentally responsible, land-based aquaculture.”

Great Lakes states are not keeping pace with increases in consumer demand for fish and seafood, which contributes to a $17 billion national seafood trade deficit. Starting in 2019 and continuing today, the Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative has held region-wide workshops and training opportunities, created an aquaculture farm tour video series, funded and published research on consumer demand for aquaculture products and created a dedicated website.

The new funding will support ongoing and new activities:

  • Linking aquaculture producers to state and national aquaculture organizations and supporting producers, students, and researchers from historically marginalized communities to attend and present at state and national aquaculture meetings.
  • Continuing collaborations with aquaculture industry advisory groups from Great Lakes states to solicit feedback on progress and outcomes and understand state-specific industry needs.
  • Informing Great Lakes legislators about what aquaculture is and the elements of a sustainable regional aquaculture industry.
  • Comparing aquaculture laws and regulations among states within the Great Lakes region to determine how agencies interpret and implement these rules.
  • Fostering synergies among private, state, and tribal organizations to jointly address seafood supply-chain challenges in the aquaculture and commercial fishing industries.
  • Developing research questions that address priority areas of need for aquaculture producers that may be funded by Great Lakes Sea Grant programs.

“These investments demonstrate Sea Grant’s commitment to sustainably growing U.S. aquaculture throughout coastal and Great Lakes communities,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “The funded projects, which address a variety of challenges, will ensure that growth of the aquaculture sector will be informed by the latest science and community needs.”

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

 

CONTACTS:

  • Minnesota Sea Grant
    • Amy Schrank, Minnesota Sea Grant; Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educator, aschrank@edu, 612-301-1526
    • Donald Schreiner, Fisheries Specialist, schr0941@d.umn.edu, 218-726-7375
    • Marie Thoms, Communication Manager, Minnesota Sea Grant, methoms@d.umn.edu, office: 218-726-8710
  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
    • Stuart Carlton, Assistant Director, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, carltons@purdue.edu, 765-494-3726
    • Amy Shambach, Aquaculture Marketing Outreach Associate, ashambac@purdue.edu, 765-496-4085
  • Lake Champlain Sea Grant
    • Theodore Willis, Aquaculture Education Specialist, theodore.willis@uwm.edu, 207-894-4537
  • Ohio Sea Grant
    • Nicole Wright, Aquaculture Extension Educator, wright.1128@osu.edu, 614-292-8949
  • Michigan Sea Grant
    • Lauren Jescovitch, Extension Educator, jescovit@msu.edu, 570-687-6818
    • Elliot Nelson, Extension Educator, Michigan Sea Grant, Elliotne@msu.edu, 906-322-0353
  • National Sea Grant Law Center
    • Stephanie Otts, Director, sshowalt@olemiss.edu, 662-915-771
  • New York Sea Grant
    • Emma Forbes, Aquaculture Specialist, ef375@cornell.edu, 914-285-4620
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant
    • Emma Hauser, Aquaculture Outreach & Education Specialist, ehauser@uwsp.edu, 715-779-3262
    • Titus Seilheimer, Fisheries Outreach Specialist, tseilheimer@aqua.wisc.edu, 920-683-4697

40 years of IISG: Where we are and where we’re going

September 26th, 2022 by

This year, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) is celebrating 40 years of service to southern Lake Michigan communities. Started in 1982 by Robert Espeseth and Jim Peterson as a collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), University of Illinois Extension and Purdue University Forestry & Natural Resources, the program has flourished as funding and partnerships have grown over the years.

Director Tomas Höök joined IISG in 2010 as associate director of research and in 2018, when his predecessor, Brian Miller, retired, Höök was asked to step up as director. During this transition, IISG also switched its administrative base from University of Illinois to Purdue University.

IISG has seen substantial growth throughout the past 40 years—especially the breadth of issues the program addresses, the technology employed and, most significantly, increased funding. Höök credits much of the program’s growth to Miller, who sought out partnerships with outside agencies.

Due to the boost in funding, IISG has been able to grow its staff, fund more research and expand extension and community programs. One area of focus that has grown considerably is community and environmental resiliency. Due to climate change, the Great Lakes have experienced more dramatic fluctuations in water levels. High water levels result in erosion, flooding and washed-out roads while low levels create mud flats, disrupt transport and potentially harm wildlife.

“We’ve been doing more work to educate people about changing lake levels and impacts of climate change while also trying to educate decision makers, like city planners or state park managers, on how to address it. So, we develop resources that are accessible to managers and that can also be used by more people,” Höök explained.

Improving accessibility to underserved communities is another area in which IISG has been intentional about expanding. Traditionally, IISG has focused much of their community outreach on recreational boaters and fishers, who tend to be more affluent than most of the populations around Lake Michigan.

“We’re trying to do more outreach, K-12 education programs, and research that serve the diversity of the citizens and communities in southern Lake Michigan, including programs to get kids interested and excited about the lake.”

The program has also seen significant growth to the IISG Scholars Program, which provides one-year grants to support graduate student and faculty research. According to Höök, in addition to funding research, the scholars program aims to educate participants about Lake Michigan issues while training them on how to conduct applied research.

Höök also takes pride in the culture and work environment at IISG and credits the program personnel for continued success. As director, he takes more of a “behind the scenes” approach, which fosters autonomy and opens the door to new possibilities.

“People seem to enjoy working at Sea Grant and tend to feel like the work that they do has meaning. They’re winning awards and bringing in grant money, and I often receive emails and feedback from partners telling me how much they appreciate the work the people in our program are doing.”

Going forward, IISG plans to continue expanding its research and community outreach. After 40 years of serving Great Lakes communities, the future of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant only looks bright.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

Writer: Motinola Agunbiade
Contact: Irene Miles

Stakeholders invited to submit feedback

May 13th, 2022 by

Deadline: May 19, 2022

As part of our strategic planning process, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program wants to hear from you—our stakeholders. We are especially interested in learning about your experiences with our outreach, education, and research programs. Maybe you have participated in an IISG-hosted event, read one of our publications or listened to a podcast, borrowed our equipment for your classroom, accessed our buoy data, used our website, or learned about the research we fund. Whatever the case may be, we’d like to hear from you. Your feedback will help us refine our goals, strategies, and work plans as we develop our 2024-2027 Strategic Plan and future proposals.

Please send feedback to iisg@purdue.edu by May 19, 2022.

Thank you for your time and input!

 

 


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

Getting into the weeds of lawn care

April 11th, 2022 by

Springtime reminds us that owning a home comes with a lot of responsibilities, including maintaining the lawn. Many people choose to care for their property by looking to their parents, neighbors, and friends for advice. While we can learn a lot from our communities, the ecological and health impacts of traditional lawn care products and maintenance are worth reevaluating.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has expanded the Lawn to Lake Program to include a new website, lawntolakemidwest.org. The site helps users dig into the weeds of natural lawn care. IISG has worked with horticultural experts at the University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension to provide the latest science-based lawn care recommendations. There are options for all levels of commitment and experience — starting with basic tips and extending through soil sampling strategies.

The site allows you to begin your journey toward a healthy lawn and landscape in your own backyard. Start with the lawn care quiz to evaluate your current lawn care practices. Then the featured monthly lawn tips can help you improve your score by providing a simple to-do list of seasonal lawn care tasks.

screenshot of homepage of lawntolakemidwest.org

The website makes finding lawn care solutions easy. For example, an interactive map locates your nearest soil testing labs. “Soil health is the foundation to a healthy lawn and we have found that just finding testing labs could be an obstacle to action” says, Sarah Zack, IISG Pollution Prevention Outreach Specialist. You can find many other tools on the website including a handy fertilizer calculator that does the math for you. Excess fertilizer can run off into local watersheds, so knowing the correct amount to apply is important for protecting water resources.

With spring just around the corner, consult Lawn to Lake and head outdoors to see how you can work with nature to grow a healthier landscape for you and the environment.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

 

Writer: Janice Milanovich
Contact: Sarah Zack

22 Ways to Prevent Pollution

February 22nd, 2022 by

Let your love of the Great Lakes have an impact. Challenge yourself to try something new to prevent pollution in Lake Michigan and beyond. All 22 actions won’t work for everyone, but taking one action can make a difference. 

Follow @GreatLakesP2 and #P2Tuesday on Twitter for more pollution prevention inspiration.

cleaning supplies and dry goods stored in mason jars

At home and work 

  1. Properly dispose of unwanted medications to protect people, pets, and the environment. Find a collection site at unwantedmeds.org.  
  2. Make your own cleaning products. By using less toxic ingredients you can reduce the threat of accidental exposure and pollution of the environment.
    1. Discover toxin-free household cleaning product alternatives with this publication from New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service.  https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_g/G315.pdf 
  3. Turn off unused lights, appliances and equipment when they are not in use.  Measure the impact of your energy use on the environment with several tools from the Environmental Protection Agency.  https://www.epa.gov/energy/measure-impact-your-energy-use-environment?utm_source=agency-website&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=&utm_term=&utm_content=  
  4.  Extend the life of equipment and products – repair or buy second-hand.  Check out some helpful tips from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. https://blog.istc.illinois.edu/2018/09/18/p2week-day-2-reducing-your-impact-through-repair/  
  5. Identify source reduction strategies.  Evaluate the materials that produce waste at work.  Try eliminating non-essentials, improving operating practices, purchasing more durable products, or replacing materials to reduce toxicity.  The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has pollution prevention resources for Indiana business: https://www.in.gov/idem/ctap/pollution-prevention-p2-for-indiana-businesses/

hand holding mechanical weed remover with dandelions

In your yard 

  1. Before applying fertilizer to your lawn, always consider soil test results, desired lawn quality, and maintenance preferences. Find more information from Lawn to Lake about how to fertilize appropriately and protect local water resources.
  2. Use integrated pest management to control pests with fewer pesticides while creating favorable growing conditions for your lawn. Midwest Grows Green provides toolkits, guides, and factsheets to help you reduce the need for pesticides.   
  3. Mow smart to develop a deeper root system and reduce your dependence on irrigation and chemical fertilizers. Learn how to maximize your mowing practices on the Lawn to Lake website.   
  4. Overwatering and misdirected watering practices result in wasted water and polluted runoff that may end up in nearby streams, rivers, lakes, and even groundwater. Lawn to Lake teaches you how to conserve water and control runoff on your property.  
  5. Shrink your yard and plant natives, mowing less will reduce emissions. The Red Oak Rain Garden provides a number of native planting garden guides to get you started.
  6. Compost your food waste and by adding it to your garden and grass you can both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil fertility.
  7. Pick-up pet waste to protect water quality. Pet waste can carry two types of pollutants into our waterways, nutrients and pathogens. Learn more about this from the Great Lakes Echo’s Scooping Poop Improves Water Quality.
  8. Salt keeps our sidewalks and streets safe but it can also pollute local waterways.  Save money by sweeping up and reusing excess salt. Visit saltsmart.org for more tips.  

reusable utensils and metal tupperware

At the store 

  1. Reduce household hazardous waste by reading labels and choosing the least toxic products. Search for products that meet the EPA’s Safer Choice Standards.  
  2. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging and food waste. North Carolina State University’s Sustainability office has a list of 5 things to buy in bulk.   
  3. When you can, choose natural fiber materials like cotton, linen, wool, silk to prevent microplastic pollution. Learn more with Delaware SeaGrant’s microfiber factsheet.
  4. Reduce the need to harvest new materials by choosing reusable mugs, straws, and utensils when you can.  

bike lane markings on pavement

On the go

  1. Don’t idle your vehicle when you are not driving. Learn more with this factsheet from the U.S. Department of Energy.  
  2. Choose a pollution-free mode of transportation when possible. Try walking or riding a bike for trips less than one mile. The EPA outlines what good could happen if we kept our cars parked for trips less than one mile.  
  3. Prevent pollution by washing your car in a commercial car wash facility where wastewater can be filtered and recycled or properly disposed. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency provides information about the requirements governing car wash wastewater and how these facilities can become more environmentally friendly and conserve water. 
  4. Don’t litter. Wind, rain, streams, and rivers can deposit marine debris (trash) into our Great Lakes. The NOAA Marine Debris Program works to prevent marine debris from entering the Great Lake through education, outreach, and removal projects.   

Lake Street Beach

Sharing is caring

As we aim for progress not perfection, remember that individual actions matter. Share these pollution prevention tips with others and then get involved! IISG connects people with science to help protect southern Lake Michigan ecosystems and build resultant communities. Look for opportunities to get engaged.


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

 

Contacts: Janice Milanovich, Sarah Zack

Teacher Feature: Steve Sturgis, Clay Middle School

February 16th, 2022 by
Location: Carmel, Indiana
Organization: Clay Middle School
Grade: 6th
Subject: Science
 
By supplementing his classroom materials with resources from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Center for Great Lakes Literacy, Steve Sturgis is able to incorporate Great Lakes science into his activities and lesson plans. 

Why do you think it’s important to infuse Great Lakes topics in education?

Invasive species pose a threat to our ecosystems, and our Great Lakes. My students are gaining an understanding of the fragility of those species we love to find in the Great Lakes and also how dangerous new invasive species would be if introduced to the Great Lakes.

Describe one of your favorite classroom experiences or activities associated with the Great Lakes.

“Everywhere we look, there are species damaging our natural ecosystems both now, and as we look into the future.” Sixth grade science students at Clay Middle School were tasked with coming up with creative solutions for solving these ecological problems. Students presented to members of the local scientific community who are on the front lines of Indiana’s invasive species problems. Members of this professional audience included scientists from the following institutions: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Purdue University, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation, Indiana Department of Transportation, Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management,  Hamilton County Invasives Partnership, Hamilton Soil and Water Conservation District, and USDA National Resources Conservation Service.

girl stands in front of sea lamprey science poster, giving a presentation to other students

Students speak about sea lamprey problems and solutions at a student-led Invasive Species Symposium at Clay Middle School. (Photo provided by Steve Sturgis)

What teaching methods do you use to engage students in Great Lakes activities?

"Attack Pack" kit with aquatic invasive species classroom materials

Sea Grant’s Attack Pack resources are a Center for Great Lakes Literacy classroom supplement to invasive species Project Based Learning. (Photo provided by Steve Sturgis)

Project Based Learning or PBL. Creating projects centered around solving real problems creates a natural opportunity for students to learn curriculum in a more meaningful and engaging environment for learning.

How have you involved scientists in your teaching?

At the end of our PBL study “Invasive Species, Can They Be Stopped?” students present their unique solutions to the invasive species problem to a professional panel that consists of members of agencies that work directly with invasive species in the local community.

Student Reflections on Great Lakes stewardship

“I had no idea how many invasive species Indiana had wrecking ecosystems. This project was a fun way to learn about a species and come up with a clever way that scientists could maybe use someday to stop these invaders.” – Student at Clay Middle School


Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

 

Contact: Steve Sturgis, ssturgis@ccs.k12.in.us
Education and Student Engagement Coordinator: Terri Hallesy
Center for Great Lakes Literacy: https://www.cgll.org/teacherfeature/steve-sturgis/

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