Charting Our Course

Based on our objectives, COSEE Great Lakes will undertake six kinds of tasks, which we see as the destinations on our paddle-to-the-sea voyage:

  1. Teacher enhancement through intensive and extended encounters with Great Lakes and oceanic research (Objectives 1, 4 and 6)
  2. Research scientist interactions with teachers, informal educators, and students (Objectives 1, 2, 5)
  3. Great Lakes/ocean science for the public, media and schools via informal settings and the Internet. Task includes data use and dissemination, plus the CoE course (Objectives 5, 6, 7)
  4. Engaging teachers in curriculum linking Great Lakes and Ocean Sciences (Objective 4)
  5. Student connections to ocean/Great Lakes science and research (Objective 7)
  6. Collaborative activities with existing members of the National COSEE Network for sharing of Great Lakes connections (Objectives 1, 4, 6, 8). Portions of this task are woven into activities of the other five.

Task 1

Teacher Enhancement

The desired process for teacher participants in COSEE Great Lakes is to build a portfolio of skills and materials for accessing and utilizing the science of the lakes and oceans in their classrooms or informal settings. We aspire for them to use science for teaching critical thinking and developing habits of inquiry, and to see scientists as their colleagues in creating a sustainable environment.

  1. Lake Exploration workshops: A 6-day summer course in an informal science education setting. In 2006 this workshop will explore Lake Superior science.
  2. Lake Guardian workshop. An on-the-water workshop aboard the R/V Lake Guardian, a USEPA vessel housed at the Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) in Michigan. In 2006 the workshop will be on Lake Erie.
  3. Marine Immersion. Each year a scholarship program will provide up to 20 teachers with a stipend to support participation in a marine science course offered through one of the project institutions.
  4. Teachable Moments. Teachers may participate in “drive-in” symposia at teachable moments during summer or school year.

Participation in all workshops is open to teachers in Grades 4-10 from the states bordering the lake in focus and from other Great Lakes as well.

Task 2

Research Scientist Interactions with Educators and Students: LimnoLinks

  1. Lake Exploration workshops have scientists interacting with teachers for a week, not through lectures but through questioning, discussions of research and curriculum, and exchange of views across the cultures of research and education.
  2. Educator House-calls: Small groups of teachers will visit research labs in 2006 and 2008 for discussions with scientists. Teachers will be prepared to describe conditions for learning science, and to assist scientists with preparation for classroom visits and student interaction.
  3. School for Scientists: In 2007 and 2009, we will conduct education workshops for science researchers at the annual meeting of the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR)
  4. Action Evaluation for Task 2. In 2007 and 2009, scientists who have participated in LimnoLinks will be supported to present and participate in education conferences for science teachers.

Task 3

Great Lakes/Ocean Science for the Public, Media, and Schools

  1. Public Seminar. With our informal collaborators, COSEE Great Lakes will develop an Inland Seas science seminar series in large urban areas, hosted by the lake teams in Paddle-to-the-Sea order, beginning with Huron in 2006.
  2. COSEE Great Lakes on the Internet. You are there! Watch this site for news, announcements, and information you can use.
  3. Teaching with GLOS. As the Great Lakes Observing System becomes more accessible to the public, we will develop tools and educational materials to facilitate the use of GLOS/IOOS datasets for teaching.
  4. College of Exploration. We are excited to claim partnership with the excellent internet webcast experience of the College of Exploration, to produce over the five year period a series of online programs to engage educators in learning about the history, the science and the vitality of the Inland Seas. CoE will collaborate with us to develop one or two 30 to 40-minute online lectures per year, each with associated online interactions of 7-10 days.

Task 4

Developing Teacher Stakeholders in Curriculum Linking Great Lakes and Ocean Sciences

A critical aspect of the COSEE Great Lakes is establishing a process for involving teachers in enhancing curriculum. We seek a curriculum that provides insights into the uniqueness of the Great Lakes system and research-based understandings of issues affecting our environment and our lives. We also need, for both regional and oceanic teachers, new materials that demonstrate the connections between the Great Lakes and oceans, as well as contrasts between these freshwater and marine systems. Visit our curriculum page to explore these efforts.

Task 5

Student Connections to Ocean/Great Lakes Science and Research

  1. O’LAKERS (Ocean/Lake-Aware Kids Engaged in Relevant Science). Student groups will be supported for first-hand experiences with Great Lakes and ocean research through facilities and schoolships, as well as for community activities related to public awareness of ocean/lake science.
  2. Student Summits. Scholarships will be available to teachers for students to participate in either the Great Lakes Student Summit, Buffalo, 2006 and 2008, or the Lake Superior Youth Summit in 2007 and 2009.
  3. Great Lakes Ecology Course for Secondary Schools. Lessons will be structured with an Earth systems approach and made available on the Internet, first through the project web site, then through DLESE, the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education.

Culminating Activity

The Great Lakes Education LimnoLinks Summit

Effective partnerships among Great Lakes research scientists and educators are a primary goal of COSEE Great Lakes. A LimnoLinks Summit will provide the culminating activity for these partnerships in 2010, and also provide a forum for establishing future collaborative opportunities among research scientists and regional educators.