Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop

July 25 � 30, 2010
Buffalo, Rochester and Oswego, New York

The Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes, in partnership with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, invites 4th-10th grade teachers and non-formal educators from the Great Lakes region to participate in the Lake Ontario Exploration Workshop, July 25-30, 2010. This workshop is designed to promote Great Lakes and ocean sciences in formal and informal education and forge lasting relationships between science researchers and educators. Participants will be involved in classroom and field programs, work with scientists, examine curricula and resources, and explore classroom activities relating to the Great Lakes and ocean resources. Fifteen educators will be selected from throughout the Great Lakes basin.

This six-day summer workshop will offer educators an excursion into Great Lakes and marine science education. The workshop will immerse participants in inquiry, questioning, and experimentation, engage educators in concrete tasks, build on their experiences with students, deepen their content skills, and connect their work to specific standards for student performance. Participating scientists will learn from educators what is needed for their teaching and how scientists can become partners in science education about the Great Lakes. In order to prepare for the workshop, a pre-trip conference call will be held in early July. A follow-up conference call will be scheduled in August, in order to help prepare educators for using the information from the workshops in their classrooms. Participants must take part in both of these calls.

Workshop Location

Lake Ontario receives water from all of the upper Great Lakes through the Niagara River and thundering Niagara Falls. The lakeshore progresses from the tiny town of Youngstown, to the industrialized Rochester embayment, on to the port city of Oswego, and the globally significant sand dunes of the eastern shore. The Lake Ontario shoreline is dotted by productive streams that feed a multi-million dollar fishery and orchards that provide bountiful harvests of apples, peaches and other fruits. New York is home to the entire southern shore and the State embraces Lake Ontario along its Seaway Trail.

We begin our learning on Sunday afternoon in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo and home to the University at Buffalo and the Great Lakes Program. Sunday and Monday will be spent in Western New York, experiencing the Niagara River and the western basin of the lake.

On Tuesday, the group will head towards Rochester, to experience that Area of Concern and its ecological richness. Wednesday and Thursday will be spent in the Oswego area where we will experience and learn about the lake and the unique habitat of the sand dunes, along with a trip to NY Department of Environmental Conservation�s Salmon River Fish Hatchery. Friday will include final presentations and travel back to Western New York, in time for evening flights home. Workshop leaders will suggest travel options based on where our participants originate.

Workshop Objectives

Our plan is for educators to be able to:

  • Interact with scientists conducting research on pertinent Great Lakes and ocean topics;
  • Synthesize and provide examples of how water characteristics and processes interact with land, life, weather, and human activities;
  • Demonstrate how to implement Great Lakes and ocean information into their existing curriculum or informal education media using traditional and/or electronic means;
  • Compare Great Lakes systems with ocean counterparts, with regard to science principles as well as issues of human impacts and natural changes over time.

We also plan for scientists to be able to:

  • Interact with educators to facilitate their learning about science of lakes and oceans;
  • Assimilate information about educators� instructional settings, opportunities and constraints;
  • Demonstrate use of the vocabulary of education and understanding of instructional standards;
  • Develop a plan for assisting educators in the year following the workshop.

Our roles:

  • Introduce educators to regional Great Lakes and ocean science research topics and high quality curricular and educational resources;
  • Provide an effective interface between educators, Great Lakes and ocean science researchers;
  • Provide fun, hands-on experiences for educators to enjoy and take back to their students;
  • Promote inquiry learning through existing curricular and educational resources, aligning with National and State Science Education Standards;
  • Facilitate the development, exchange and implementation of curricula and lessons for participants� classrooms or informal settings;
  • Provide for long-term support, evaluation and communication between COSEE Great Lakes and the workshop participants.

Participant Support

  1. Upon successful completion of workshop expectations, teachers will receive a $500 stipend.
  2. Lodging (double occupancy in motels), transportation between sites, and meals at the workshop locations at no cost to the participant.
  3. Exemplary Great Lakes and marine curricula and resources.
  4. Opportunities to participate in additional COSEE Great Lakes-sponsored educational programs.
  5. Long-term support and communication between COSEE Great Lakes and the workshop participants.

University Credit

Participants can earn two (2) master�s of education graduate credits from the University of Minnesota-Duluth for workshop participation. COSEE Great Lakes does not pay tuition, but stipends may be used for that purpose. Information on enrolling for credit will be posted soon.

Participant Selection Criteria

Applications are invited from:

  • Teachers of grades 4-10 from the Great Lakes basin who teach or are willing to teach Great Lakes and marine science in their classrooms.
  • Educators from non-formal educational institutions that have Great Lakes or marine science exhibits or plan to add such topics to their programs.

All applicants must include:

  1. An abridged resume
  2. A personal statement as described on the application, and
  3. A letter of reference from their principal or supervisor documenting the applicant�s professional qualifications for the workshop and indicating that the administrator will support efforts to integrate Great Lakes/ocean science topics into the curriculum as these topics apply to state science standards

Educators who are Native American or members of groups underrepresented in science and/or who teach significant numbers of students who are members of such groups are encouraged to apply. Selection criteria include: geographic distribution of educators, level of professional involvement; potential to use the workshop materials and concepts in the classroom; potential to share the workshop material with other educational professionals; and date of application receipt.

Application Procedures

All communications concerning the Lake Erie Exploration Workshop and applications should be addressed to:

Helen Domske
New York Sea Grant
229 Jarvis Hall
SUNY at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260
(Phone) (716) 645-3610
(Fax) (716) 645-3612

Completed applications with required principal or supervisor support letters must be received by COB on April 9, 2010. Notification of participants and alternates will be made no later than May 14, 2010. In selecting individuals for participation and otherwise in the administration of this workshop, COSEE Great Lakes will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status.

Workshop Team

Helen Domske
Coastal Education Specialist, New York Sea Grant; Associate Director, GL Program
Mary Penney
Lake Ontario Dune/Salmon River Steward Coordinator, New York Sea Grant
Paul Focazio
Web Content Manager, New York Sea Grant
Michael Goehle
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Northeast Region, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service research scientists throughout the workshop

For Scientists:

Let COSEE help in engaging educational outreach

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